SHANGHAI, Sep 19 (SMM) - As of last Friday September 16, the SMM Imported Copper Concentrate Index (weekly) stood at $82.5/mt, $0.54/mt higher than in the previous week.
Last week, the spot copper concentrate trading was active, especially the transactions between many mines and smelters. Clean concentrates from North and South America flowed into the Chinese market one after another, and the supply of goods from America grew significantly. In addition, due to the production accident at the LS Nikko smelter in South Korea, some copper concentrates were resold to China. The increase in the spot supply of copper concentrates enabled the TCs to trend higher. According to SMM survey, TCs of clean concentrates between mines and smelters were around $74-79/mt last week, and those between traders and smelters stood at $81-85/mt, which were mainly scheduled to be shipped from September to December. On the news front, the production safety problems of South American mines intensified. Because of the unresolved production safety issues between Escondida copper mine and its workers, the labour union threatened to launch an indefinite strike. The union agreed to delay the strike pending the negotiations with Chile's National Labour Directorate and mining regulator Sernageomin. Besides, on September 12, a mudslide occurred at the Yauricocha copper mine of Sierra Metals in Peru, killing three employees and injuring one, thus operations in the mining area were suspended until production conditions met safety standards. It is estimated that the Yauricocha copper mine will produce 12,000 mt of copper in 2022. What’s more, First Quantum Minerals signed a technical cooperation agreement with Tertiary Minerals to jointly promote the Mukai and Mushima North copper exploration projects in the North-Western Province of Zambia.
According to the SMM data, the port inventory of copper concentrate last Friday stood at 782,000 mt in physical content, down 45,000 mt compared with the previous week. With the increase in mine offers and the spot inflow of copper concentrate from South Korea for resale to China, buyers quoted the TCs of clean concentrates which were scheduled to be shipped in the fourth quarter at $88-89/mt, while the sellers offered $71-75/mt. The differences between the two sides widened again, and the buyers were bullish on the TCs in the fourth quarter of 2022. The pricing coefficient of domestic spot Cu 20% copper concentrate stood at 88.5-89.5% on a delivery-to-factory basis.