Higher Zinc Price and Lower Copper Price for Japan Contact Users

Japanese smelters settled the price negotiation with users to increase the average zinc ingot price by around 3,500 yen per tonne for fiscal 2006 shipment from fiscal 2005. The price increased for 4 years in a row when the users put stable supply ahead of price under very tight supply. The smelters agreed to decrease copper ingot price by 1,000-1,500 yen per tonne after they concluded the Japan premium negotiation with CODELCO of Chile to reduce US$ 10 per tonne. The contract price of zinc ingot recorded increases for 4 consecutive years, which is the first case according to an official of Japanese smelter, though the hike was lower than record 5,000 yen per tonne for fiscal 2005. The price negotiation reflected very tight supply and the users of steel makers try to secure requirement even at higher cost. The smelters reduce the copper ingot contract price by 1,000-1,500 yen per tonne for electric wire makers for fiscal 2006 from fiscal 2005 after CODELCO reduced the Japan premium by US$ 10 to US$ 115 per tonne for 2006 from 2005. The smelters will ship same or slight lower volume of copper ingot for the contract users in fiscal 2006 than fiscal 2005.