SHANGHAI The annual
premium for copper sold in China by Corporación Nacional
del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) could be set at $100 per tonne for
2013, down $10 from levels seen this year and twice the
reduction European buyers received, according to market
Spot market copper premiums have
traded much lower, but Codelcos premium is unlikely to
fall further in China since the Chilean producer initially
targeted a premium of $105 per tonne, sources told AMM
sister publication Metal Bulletin.
Codelcos 2013 premium for
buyers in Europe fell $5 per tonne to $85 per tonne.
Volumes sold into China on
contract for 2013 are unlikely to drop significantly, the
The Santiago, Chile-based copper
producer starts negotiations each year with the goal of
achieving at least a rollover in terms of volumes and premiums,
Metal Bulletin was told.
"We can see the high quality of
(Codelcos) copper, which is made by the pyrometallurgical
process. Its still much sought after, even though
downstream demand remains poor," one Shanghai-based source
Demand for financing deals for
Codelcos copper "is still robust," a second
Shanghai-based source said.
Still, the lower spot copper
premiums have lengthened a seesaw battle between Chinese buyers
and Codelco, which was offering copper at premiums of $105 per
tonne when negotiations began, a slight reduction from the 2012
premium of $110 per tonne.
daily spot copper premiums have been running at between $35 and
$65 per tonne since October, with noticeable year-on-year
declines in the volumes of deals made.
Negotiations about the contract
premium between Codelco and Chinese buyers will be protracted
this year, sources said.
The outcome of the negotiations,
which normally comes out in the middle of November, could be
delayed until the end of the month, when a team from the Center
for Copper and Mining Studies (Cesco), Santiago, comes to
Shanghai to co-host its first-ever Asia Copper Week alongside
the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
Buyers hope to obtain a better
picture of supply and demand during the event, held Nov. 28 and
Nov. 29, in which Metal Bulletin will co-host its 8th
Asia Copper Conference and Beijing Antaike Information
Development Co. will host its China International Copper
Fabricating and Recycling Forum.
"I wish Codelco could offer
below $90 or $80 (per tonne)," a third Shanghai-based buyer
said. "Business is very hard for us this year."
The Chilean producer is estimated to sell 500,000 tonnes of
copper cathode to China per year, a volume equivalent to just
under two months worth of Chinas total imports,
according to sources.