SHANGHAI, Feb 12 (SMM) – Treatment charges for spot trades of imported copper concentrate in China climbed to the highest in eight months, as demand dwindled after a shortage of sulphuric acid storage capacity and logistics constraints caused by the recent epidemic outbreak, forced some smelters to curtail production in February.
The SMM copper concentrate index for the week ended February 7, which assessed TCs for spot trades of imported materials, came in at $62/mt, the highest since June 2018. That was $2.27/mt higher than the previous week. There were barely any quotes last week as market participants worked from home.
Most copper smelters have been struggling to receive raw and auxiliary materials or discharge refined metal and the byproduct—sulphuric acid, due to transportation restrictions amid the outbreak. Some smelters are running out of storage capacity for sulphuric acid, as their stocks have already been high in the sluggish market.
Production curtailments by Chinese copper smelters are set to offer strong support to spot copper concentrate TCs in the near term.