Platts launches daily China copper TC/RC assessment

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Commodity pricing provider S&P Global Platts launched on Monday a daily assessment of spot treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for clean copper concentrate supply to top metals consumer China, in a bid to help make the trade more transparent.

Miners or traders pay smelters TC/RCs to process concentrate into refined metal, offsetting the cost of the ore itself.

Platts will also provide an outright daily spot price for clean copper concentrate on a cost, insurance, freight (c.i.f.) China basis, it said in a statement. It would give differentials for three concentrate brands from Chile, it added.

For Monday, the Platts TC/RC assessment was $40 per tonne and 4 cents per lb. Other companies that assess spot TC/RCs include Asian Metal, Fastmarkets and SMM.

The launch comes as treatment charges in China, as assessed by Asian Metal AM-CN-CUCONC, languish at more than eight-year lows after already tight concentrate supply was exacerbated by disruption to shipments in Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, due to high waves.

Spot rates are currently well below the 2021 TC/RC annual benchmark of $59.50 a tonne and 5.95 cents per lb agreed in December. The benchmark is referenced in supply contacts worldwide and plays a significant role in determining the profitability of miners and smelters.

“Robust and transparent prices will be useful references to the opaque and complex copper market which has experienced difficult fixed-price annual negotiations over recent years,” said Ian Dudden, Platts’ global pricing director for metals and agriculture, in the statement.

The three Chilean concentrate brands Platts will provide daily differentials for are from Antofagasta PLC’s Los Pelambres mine, the Los Bronces mine majority held by Anglo American PLC and BHP-led Escondida.

Platts’ said its assessments reflect the spot market value of generic clean copper concentrate of any origin at 1630 Singapore time (0830 GMT) and also take into account copper, gold and silver futures prices. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Susan Fenton)