SHANGHAI, Dec 28 (SMM)—The China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) set the floor prices of imported copper concentrate treatment and refining charges (TC/RC) at $53/mt and 5.3 cent/lb respectively for the first quarter of 2021, down $5/mt and 0.5 cent/lb from the fourth quarter of 2020.
Spot copper concentrate remained in short supply in the fourth quarter of 2020 as supply recovery missed expectations and copper smelters kept low inventories. Treatment charges for spot copper concentrate hovered below $50/mt. SMM copper concentrate index (monthly) stood at $48.45/mt, $48.62/mt and 48.69/mt in October, November and December respectively, and actual traded prices mostly stood at $40/mt.
On December 12, Chinese copper smelters China Copper, Tongling Nonferrous Metals, Jiangxi Copper, Jinchuan Company and US miner Freeport-McMoRan agreed on the 2021 copper concentrate TCs in their long-term contracts at $59.5/mt, basically in line with previous expectations.
Trades turned active in the spot market after the benchmark TCs were agreed. Currently, spot TCs moved between $40-50/mt, and showed an upward trend as the market was optimistic about future supply. SMM copper concentrate index (weekly) stood at $49.34/mt on December 25.
SMM expects spot copper concentrate TCs to rise in the first quarter of 2021.