The changes in specifications will take effect from Friday April 26, following an extended market consultation that began on March 4.
The index publication frequency has been increased to weekly, while the base copper content grade has been moved down to 26% from 28%.
These proposed changes to the index were unanimously well received by the market. Fastmarkets canvassed over 30 separate companies involved in all sides and is grateful for feedback given.
Fastmarkets has also amended the content of chemical components commonly found in copper concentrate.
Specification changes are designed to lock down a base specification for a clean, standard-grade copper concentrate parcel, to which Fastmarkets normalizes the wide variety of brands traded in the market.
The index will remain a tool for the copper concentrates market to normalize the wide variety of grades, brands and options to a single central number, and price accordingly.
Changes in copper content
Fastmarkets has lowered its base specification copper content to 26%, reflecting a general decline in ore grades of copper concentrates traded on the spot market as well as the falling optimal feed grade required by smelters.
The downward adjustment compares to the original 28% content which reflected the market average when the index was launched five years ago.
In light of the above, Fastmarkets also widens the copper content range for accepted data points into the index calculation to a minimum of 18% and a maximum of 37% from the current range of 22-37%. These data points will then be normalized to the new 26% base specification.
The corresponding changes in the copper content normalization process are covered in detail in our FAQ article, here.
Changes in content of other chemical components
Content of chemical components commonly found in copper concentrates has also been revised so as to track activities of the most-actively traded copper concentrates brands.
The changes have been listed as below:
(1) The maximum gold content has been lowered to 30g/dmt from 50g/dmt; base is unchanged at 1.1g/dmt.
(2) The base content for zinc is lowered to 1% from 2%; while the maximum content of both zinc and lead have been reduced to 4%, from 5% and 5.5% respectively.
(3) The maximum content of bismuth has been cut to 2,000ppm from 5,000ppm.
The updated specifications used in the calculation of the index value have been listed as below:
While Fastmarkets acknowledges the above range covers a wide spectrum of concentrates, it is noteworthy that all data points accepted - even for highly variant concentrates - will be normalized by a brand coefficient, which is calculated based on the historical trade differences across various brands.
The brand coefficient is updated every month.
Starting from Friday April 26, the index will be published on a weekly basis in response to the original consultation which agreed that the market is in need of a weekly index.
If you have any comments on these changes, or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter to the copper TCR/RC index, please contact Archie Hunter/Julian Luk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add the subject heading FAO: AH/JL re: copper concs TC/RC index.
To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents, please go to https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology.
Fastmarkets is revising the specifications for its copper concentrates treatment and refining charge (TC/RC) Asia Pacific index after a thorough consultation with a wide range of market participants.