China copper group sets Q2 base level for treatment charges at $78

China’s ten largest copper smelters have set the base level for their treatment and refining charges (TCs/RCs) for the second quarter of this year 10.3% lower than in the first quarter, Metal Bulletin has heard.

The China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) agreed during a meeting in Shanghai last Friday to fix the minimum levels for TCs at $78 per tonne and for RCs at $0.078 per lb, a source close to the matter said.

Those figures compare with the price floors for the first quarter of 2018 at $87 per tonne and $0.087 per lb.

The price was 5.2% lower than 2018’s TCs/RCs benchmark of $82.25/8.225 agreed last year between copper producers Freeport and Tongling Nonferrous, which took the lead in annual negotiations for the first time.

Other than Tongling, the CSPT members include Jiangxi Copper, Daye Nonferrous, China Gold, Baiyin Nonferrous, Gansu Jinchuan, Yunnan Copper, Zhongtiaoshan, Yantai Guorun and Zijin Mining.

At the end of March, copper concentrate TCs/RCs ticked lower, with traders continuing to bid lower for spot material and smelters readjusting bids downward.

The Metal Bulletin copper concentrates TCs/RCs index was $66 per tonne/6.60 cents per lb on March 29, down from $68.60/6.86 two weeks ago.

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