Custom ore Negotiations for Copper Unlikely to Entirely Come to an end

The custom ore negotiations for copper between Japanese copper smelters and overseas mines go into the homestretch, but there is every possibility that they will not come to an end entirely. The treatment charge (TC) and refining charge (RC) became $95 per tonne and 9.5 cents per pound respectively which have about 80% of the whole negotiations. However, some of the mines still suggest $92 per tonne for TC and 9.2 cents per pound for RC. Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd. broke off the negotiation. Further, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. entered into the final negotiations with the mining companies. It depends on the miners’ reaction whether the negotiation comes to an end. Each of the smelters already finished the negotiations at $95 per tonne for TC and 9.2 cents per pound for RC with the overseas mining companies such as Freeport, Ok Tedi, Antamina, Batu Hijau, and Northparkes. Meanwhile, Escondida, Los Pelambres, and Highland Valley suggest $92 per tonne for TC and 9.2 cents per pound for RC. In particular, Escondida maintains its tough stance against the smelters in the background of the price strategy by BHP Billiton, the parent company. So Sumitomo Metal reclaimed the prices of $95 per tonne for TC and 9.5 cents per pound for RC as final notice in the negotiation. The firm plans to procure copper from copper mines, whose price negotiations still continue, at about 100.000 tonnes as a total of the shipping in 2006-07. BHP has the ulterior motive that it will reinforce the ability to control prices in the market of custom ore of copper through the negotiation’s ending on the conditions advantageous to it after taking into consideration the outcome of the other negotiations.