BEIJING — Prices of copper climbed on Friday, supported by a weaker dollar, while its gains were limited by six-year high treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) that reflected an expected oversupply of copper concentrate.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.3% to $8,062 a tonne by 0239 GMT, while the most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange moved up 0.4% to 65,230 yuan ($9,112.75) a tonne.
The dollar stood close to a three-month low and was on track for a weekly loss on Friday, as the prospect of the Federal Reserve slowing US interest rate increases as soon as December dominated investors’ minds and kept the mood buoyant.
A weaker US currency supports metals prices as it makes it cheaper for non-dollar holders to buy greenback-priced commodities.
Miner Freeport-McMoRan has agreed TC/RCs of $88 a tonne and 8.8 cents per pound for copper concentrate supply in 2023 with Chinese smelters, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters.
The charges, paid by miners to smelters to process ore into refined metal, are the highest since 2017 and 35% higher than the 2022 benchmark, due to an expected oversupply of copper concentrate.
Among other metals, LME aluminum advanced 0.8% at $2,385.5 a tonne, zinc rose 0.6% at $2,934 a tonne, while lead ended down 0.3% to $2,124 a tonne.
SHFE aluminum dipped 0.1% at 18,965 yuan a tonne, zinc gained 0.6% at 23,845 yuan a tonne, tin added 1.1% at 184,310 yuan a tonne, and nickel was up 0.4% at 200,040 yuan a tonne.
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($1 = 7.1581 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by William Mallard)