Physical copper demand and supply developments both bullish: BME - Metals News - Metals Place: "A European physical market copper demand boom, which started in Belgium in February and continued in to Germany, Italy and Scandinavia, have seen spot premiums for cathode soar from $100/mt [plus LME] in February to $140/mt in March then into the $150-200/mt range in April, Bloomsbury Minerals Economics said in its Copper Briefing this week. These numbers were in line with those discovered in Platts' regular survey of the market this week, which put the Grade A CIF Rotterdam premium at $140-160/mt plus LME this week, even though some offers were still heard in the $150-200/mt range and one trader reported deals done at $125-130/mt CIF any European location plus LME.
BME further added that in March, premiums were sufficient for merchants to begin shipping out of the LME's Singapore warehouses to Europe and prices responded very vigorously to the warrant cancellations. The analyst group also noted the continued supply disruptions, with the most notable the strike at La Caridad in Mexico, while in Chile, a strike looms at Lomas Bayas.
In a snapshot of the concentrate market, BME also reported that there were shortages of custom concentrates and spot TC/RCs had fallen by 30% in a month to the $70-75/dry mt and 7.0-7.5 cents/lb range. 'Smelter production in China has already fallen in consequence,' he said. At a briefing Thursday, Platts reported that John Crofts, BHP Billiton's base metals marketing director, said TC/RCs were declining rapidly: 'We sold a parcel in the market last week at below $60/mt and 6.0 cents/lb-that's reflective of how quickly the market has fallen.' Crofts said there was potential for the deficit to be sufficiently sustained such that 'smelter capacity rationalization occurs.'"
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