SHANGHAI, May 2 (SMM) – Imported copper concentrate traded actively as smelters saw stronger demand for stockpiling in the second quarter of the year, SMM learned. Traded prices of treatment charges (TCs) mostly stood at $73-76/mt, according to members of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT).
Market participants took a pessimistic outlook on TCs in the second half of the year as domestic smelting capacity for copper concentrate grew faster than the number of new copper mines. Some traders have already allocated more cargos for the second half of the year, SMM learned.
Output of copper concentrate declined in the first quarter due to lower ore grades at some overseas mines. However, labour negotiations at some mines have progressed well and could provide some support to TCs of copper concentrate. SMM remains cautious about TCs in the second half of the year.
Diversified mining company Vedanta Resources is likely to resume operation before the end of May. It was ordered by the Indian government to suspend all mining activities in the iron-ore producing state of Goa on March 16.
Copper production at US miner Freeport-McMoRan in the first quarter of the year stood at 952 million pounds, up 11% from 851 million pounds in the same period of 2017. Freeport remains in a dispute with the Indonesian government on waste disposal and environmental issues.
Output of copper at Chilean miner Antofagasta fell 10.5% year on year to 153,800 mt in the first quarter due to lower quality ore. Antofagasta had expected this decline as it would move to higher quality ores later this year. It kept its annual output target unchanged at between 705,000 mt and 740,000 mt.
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