LONDON Aurubis AG saw a loosening in copper concentrate supply during its fiscal first half ended March 31 as mine supply picked up, leading to a 10-percent increase in realized treatment and refining charges (TCs/RCs) during the period.
Simultaneously, lower copper priceswhich in part reflected that increased mine supplycreated a "perceptibly tighter" copper scrap market during the period, Aurubis said May 14.
Aurubis smelters were fully supplied with concentrates, and while overall recycling throughput was higher the decline in prices toward the end of the period caused copper scrap traders to withhold supplies, the company said.
The availability of complex raw materials such as electronic scrap also deteriorated, contributing to a significant decline in overall recycling refining charges from a very high prior-year level.
The Hamburg, Germany-based company posted pre-tax operating earnings of 141 million ($181 million) for the fiscal first half, down from 173 million a year earlier.
The company expects higher realized TCs/RCs to continue to support profitability at its primary copper unit, but a large-scale shutdown at its Hamburg plant in the fall will affect overall earnings, it said.
Lower precious metals sales also contributed to a 1.3-percent drop in overall revenue to 6.7 billion ($8.6 billion).
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.