LONDON Copper producer Aurubis AG recorded a 94-percent year-on-year drop in net income to 10 million ($13.33 million) in its fiscal first quarter due to negative valuation effects on its process inventory, the company announced Feb. 14.
The Hamburg, Germany-based company posted revenues of 3.4 billion ($4.53 billion) for the three months ended Dec. 31, up 8 percent from the year-ago period.
The companys performance during the quarter was positively influenced by high but volatile copper prices, rising treatment and refining charges, and strong scrap supply, even as sales volumes for cathodes and copper products declined in Asia and Europe, respectively.
"The last quarter of 2012 was influenced again by difficult and volatile copper product markets. Markets in Europe in particular were negatively affected by weak demand from southern Europe," the company said.
"International demand for cathodes declined during the quarter and exports to China decreased in particular," Aurubis added.
The company said it expects further improvement in raw materials availability over the next few months as mine supply continues to expand and high copper prices promote strong scrap supply.
Benchmark treatment and refining charges for 2013 have been set at $70 per tonne/7 cents per pound, up from $63.50 per tonne/6.35 cents per pound in 2012, Aurubis said.
Aurubis group cathode output was virtually unchanged at 234,000 tonnes during the three-month period, while wire rod output declined 19 percent year on year to 127,000 tonnes.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.