BHP-China deal puts pressure on Japanese smelters

Dec 12, 2007 | 07:01 AM | Sean Barry

Japanese copper smelters could come under pressure to accept lower annual treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) following reports of at least one Chinese smelter agreeing on 2008 terms with BHP Billiton at $47.20 per tonne/4.72 cents a pound.

Talks between BHP Billiton, majority owner of Minera Escondida Ltda. in Chile, the world's largest copper mine, and Japanese smelters ended in a stalemate last week as smelters battled to secure higher numbers following a recent run-up in spot TC/RCs.

While the first settlement with a Japanese smelter often sets the annual benchmark, a reported agreement between Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group International Trade Ltd. and BHP Billiton will put pressure on them to settle around $47.20 per tonne/4.72 cents a pound, according to trade sources.....





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