China’s top copper smelters agree to production cut amid raw material tightness, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 2:06 AM

(Reuters) – Chinese top copper smelters agreed in a meeting on Wednesday to cut production at some loss-making plants to cope with a shortage of raw material, two sources close to the matter said.

The meeting comes as copper concentrate fees on the spot market dropped to their lowest in more than a decade, hurting smelters’ profits.

There were no specific rates or volumes set for smelters to cut their production, according to the people, adding that each smelter will have their own assessment and cut accordingly.

Other measures, including using more copper blister in production to lower consumption of copper ore concentrate, were also discussed during the meeting in Beijing on Wednesday, they added.

Top smelters, acknowledging the shortages, proposed production cuts in a meeting in January but no action has taken place, according to people familiar with the matter.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a 22-month high on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)