Copper concs imports through E China's Nantong port surge 93% on year in Jan-Aug

Hong Kong (Platts)--23Sep2013/353 am EDT/753 GMT


Copper concentrate imports shipped through East China's Nantong Port surged 93% year on year over January-August to 2.709 million mt, according to data on the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine's, or AQSIQ's, website Monday.

Hot weather had impacted port-related services during summer, but "enterprises strived to strengthen [concentrates] sourcing, and boost loading and unloading efficiency, thus spurring a rise in imported" concentrates, AQSIQ said. It did not provide further details on the weather-related problems, but Chinese media had said public utilities, such as transport, power and water were affected because of the high temperatures.

Figures from AQSIQ's Jiangsu branch showed that key Chinese copper producer Tongling Nonferrous -- based in neighboring Anhui Province -- imported 594,000 mt of copper concentrate in January-August through Nantong Port, 3.55 times higher year on year.

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Both AQSIQ and Chinese industry analysts attributed the growing copper concentrate imports this year to higher treatment and refining charges -- the fees charged to a miner by a smelter/refiner to process concentrate and produce refined copper -- for 2013, and the resultant higher profits from the imported copper concentrate trade. TCs are a key source of revenue for smelters.

Platts in mid-January reported that Chinese copper major Jiangxi Copper had inked its 2013 imported copper concentrate agreement with US miner Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold at a TC/RC of $70/mt and 7 cents/lb. The TC/RC is 10% higher than the $63.5/mt and 6.35 cents/lb inked with Freeport for last year.

--Joshua Leung, newsdesk@platts.com

--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@platts.com

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