Emily Chow

China aluminum output hits daily record in September

19 Oct 2020

SHANGHAI China's aluminum production rose in September from a year earlier as prices recovered and new smelters came on line, official data showed on Monday, with daily output reaching a record high.

Copper treatment benchmark expected to hit lowest in a decade next year

10 Sep 2020

By Emily Chow XIAMEN, China, Sept 10 Benchmark treatment charges for copper concentrate next year are likely to fall a sixth straight year, to their lowest since 2011 at about $60 a tonne, traders and analysts said, as refined metal demand returns and despite an expected recovery in supply. Miners pay treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) to smelters to process their copper concentrate into refined metal, offsetting the cost of the ore itself. Charges typically go down when concentrate supply is tight and smelters have to accept lower fees to get feedstock. China's copper concentrate supply took a hit earlier this year because copper mine operations in key supplier Peru were curtailed by pandemic-induced lockdowns. "Next year we do have some supply growth, but not really until mid-year," said Colin Hamilton, managing director for commodities research at BMO Capital Markets. The supply growth, however, from the expansion of Chilean miner Antofagasta PLC's Los Pelambres mine, BHP Group's Spence mine in Chile and Ivanhoe Mines' Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not expected to offset China's demand resurgence. Hamilton expects next year's TC/RCs at $60 a tonne and 6 cents a pound "with a slight skew to the downside". The annual TC/RC benchmark - usually agreed between miners and smelters around the turn of a year - is referenced in concentrate supply contracts worldwide, playing a significant role in determining the profitability of miners and processors. The benchmark has fallen every year since being struck at $107 per tonne and 10.7 cents per pound for 2015. For 2020, it was set at $62 per tonne and 6.2 cents per pound. Spot TC/RCs - rather than long-term - have been hovering around $51.50 a tonne since late July this year. Spot TC/RCs are at their lowest since November 2012 because of the mine disruptions and the rapid recovery in copper demand in top consumer China that revived smelter operating rates there after a pandemic-triggered slump. While TC/RCs will see support from an expected recovery in concentrate supplies next year, with 2020's tightness loosening to a surplus, next year's smelter demand would limit gains. Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc has already inked concentrate supply deals for the first half of 2021 with China's Jiangxi Copper and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group at a TC of $60.8 per tonne, Reuters reported in July. "I estimate it (TC/RC benchmark) will decrease slightly as there will be increasing domestic demand next year," said a copper trader at the sidelines of the China International Copper Forum in the southeastern city of Xiamen. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange has jumped 33.5% since March due to China's strong construction and infrastructure activities. (Reporting by Emily Chow in Xiamen, with additional reporting by Mai Nguyen; Writing by Tom Daly; Editing by Tom Hogue)

China investigating Australian wine subsidies, doubling down on dumping probe

31 Aug 2020

SHANGHAI/SYDNEY China on Monday launched an investigation into alleged government subsidies of some Australian wine imports, a widely expected follow-up to an anti-dumping probe that Australian representatives said they would oppose.

China's hog futures set to make debut, but face big challenges

05 Aug 2020

SHANGHAI China's long-awaited live hog futures contract is almost ready, offering a vital hedging tool for the world's largest pork industry, which has been roiled by an African swine fever outbreak that devastated herds and sent pork prices soaring.

China state funds to cut stakes in PICC, some tech firms amid stock bull run

10 Jul 2020

SHANGHAI People's Insurance Co (Group) of China (PICC) and three China-listed tech companies said their major state shareholders plan to reduce holdings - a move that comes amid a torrid bull run in China's stock market.

RPT-China loses appetite for salmon, seafood on virus contamination worries

25 Jun 2020

* Alibaba's Taobao, JD.com cut imported salmon sales in Beijing

China loses appetite for salmon, seafood on virus contamination worries

24 Jun 2020

BEIJING/SHANGHAI China's appetite for salmon and other seafood has crashed this month, after a resurgence in coronavirus infections in Beijing was traced to chopping boards for imported salmon in a wholesale food market in the capital.

RPT-China's new marine fuel contract seen attracting strong industry, investor interest

22 Jun 2020

* Could attract refiners, traders, retail investors, institutions

World News