Codelco offered to supply copper to European customers at a $128 premium over futures next year, signaling that the world’s biggest copper miner expects strong demand to continue even as growth headwinds swirl.
Codelco boosted its annual premium by $30/t, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The offer is $5 higher than the premium announced by leading European producer Aurubis.
The miner made its offer at the start of London Metal Exchange Week, when producers, consumers and traders convene in the UK capital to thrash out supply deals for the coming year. While copper demand has been booming, rampant inflation and the burgeoning global energy crisis are casting a pall over the growth outlook. Rising freight rates have also raised costs for suppliers like Codelco.
One key risk for manufacturers is that the global economy shifts into a period of stagflation, where demand in sectors like consumer goods and construction plunges while raw materials prices remain stubbornly high.
Even so, with unprecedented stimulus funding now feeding its way into metals-intensive renewables projects, manufacturers are also conscious of the risk that demand will outpace supply. Nexans, a leading cable-maker, has said it will bulk up in copper recycling to insulate itself against future shortages.
The Codelco premium was earlier reported by Fastmarkets.