LONDON Aurubis AG has offered customers in Europe a premium of $105 per tonne ex-works for copper cathode to be supplied in 2014, up from $86 this year, a company spokeswoman said Sept. 26.
The proposed $19 jump in 2014 terms corresponds to sustained strength in spot copper premiums seen in the region throughout the year.
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletins in-warehouse Rotterdam copper premiums have held above $100 since the start of May, when smelter outages, mine disruptions and port delays caused a temporary supply shock in the European market.
Copper premiums topped out at seven-year highs of up to $160 per tonne in June, and were holding at $100 to $140 per tonne Sept. 26.
Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), the worlds largest copper producer, agreed to European premiums of $85 per tonne for 2013, and Aurubis offer, which the Hamburg-based copper refiner announced to customers Sept. 25, is likely to strengthen the hands of consumers looking to put an upper limit on the increase that Codelco is likely to secure for next year.
The higher-term premiums for next year come as the global copper market emerges from a period of oversupply and price weakness that persisted throughout the first half of the year.
Despite a sharp jump in mine supply, which has led to a dramatic loosening in the market for copper concentrates over the past few weeks, premiums have been supported through the year partly by warehouse incentives and, more recently, a resurgence in Chinese demand.
The global copper market moved to a 132,000-tonne deficit in June, as Chinese demand hit its highest level since 2011, according to the International Copper Study Group (amm.com, Sept. 24).
Now that Aurubis has communicated its offer to customers, discussions will turn to the volumes it will supply under contract next year.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.