Korean Electrolytic Copper Prices Dip Despite Global Market Uptick

Korean Electrolytic Copper Prices Dip Despite Global Market Uptick

Impact of Stronger Won on Copper Prices

The prices for electrolytic copper in Korea have witnessed a slight decrease, attributed to the strengthening of the Korean Won against the US dollar. This decline comes despite a rise in the London Metal Exchange (LME) prices for the metal in December transactions. The LME refined copper trading for November saw a 2.9% increase, marking a four-month high at $8,173.95 per ton. However, the Korean Won’s appreciation of 2.99% against the US dollar resulted in a downward adjustment of electrolytic copper prices in the Korean market.

December Pricing Adjustments

For December, the Korean electrolytic copper price was set at 11,073,000 won per ton, a reduction of 21,000 won from the previous month on a pre-tax supply price basis. Including value-added taxes, the price approximates 12,180,300 won per ton.

Global Market Influences

Last month, the LME electrolytic copper price was influenced by a softer US dollar, as the Federal Reserve maintained its basic interest rate. However, global economic concerns and China’s real estate constraints have impeded price momentum. By mid-November, concerns over supply shortages in Latin America and China’s demand began to push prices upward, with spot prices nearing $8,400 towards the month’s end.

Supply Challenges and Import Premiums

Recent strikes in Peru’s mines, starting November 28, have led to production halts, with no scheduled negotiations for a resolution. This, coupled with supply issues arising in Panama, where the Supreme Court ruled that First Quantum Minerals’ operating contract for the Cobre Panama Mine is unconstitutional, has heightened concerns over potential shortages.

China’s import premium for electrolytic copper, a key indicator of consumption, has seen a resurgence, reaching a yearly peak. As per SMM’s survey, the premium in China’s bonded warehouse climbed by $3.5 per ton on November 28, reaching $107.5 per ton and marking a significant increase from the $27 per ton seen at the start of August.

Market Outlook

These factors collectively support the LME electrolytic copper price momentum, even as the Korean market experiences a contrasting trend due to its currency’s strength against the US dollar. icon

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