Chile’s Codelco, the world’s biggest copper miner, is offering to sell copper to European buyers at a record high premium around $235 a tonne for 2023, a rise of 85% from 2022, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The premiums set by state-owned Codelco for physical delivery of copper, paid on top of the London Metal Exchange contract, are seen as a benchmark for global contracts.
Codelco in London declined to comment.
“Many European consumers don’t want Russian copper, they have to look elsewhere,” one of the sources said. “The copper market is tight and self-sanctioning is making for tricky negotiations in Europe.”
Industry sources say consumers shunning metal from Russia is part of the reason for the boost in demand for metal from other sources.
Russia in 2021 supplied the European Union with nearly 292,000 tonnes of copper, according to data from Trade Data Monitor, which showed EU copper imports totalling more than 801,000 tonnes last year.
Europe’s biggest copper smelter Aurubis will charge its European customers a premium of $228 per tonne above the benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) price in 2023, the company said on Thursday. That is sharply up from a premium of $123 a tonne in 2022.
Montanwerke Brixlegg is offering customers a 295 euro per tonne premium for its low carbon copper for next year and a floating surcharge for high energy costs, a letter from the Austrian company to its customers showed last month.
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