Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Japan’s Pan Pacific and major copper miner to agree rise in 2013 TC/RCs

Pan Pacific Copper and a major global miner are set to agree on an increase of at least 11% in treatment and refining charges for 2013, a source at the Japanese company says

Author: Osamu Tsukimori and Melanie Burton

Japan’s biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper, and a major global miner are set to agree on an increase of at least 11 percent in treatment and refining charges (TC/RC) for 2013, a source at the Japanese company said on Wednesday.

This would be the first major TC/RC deal for next year as producers have delayed striking terms that would normally have been settled by December due to rising mine supply and slowing global demand given a gloomy economic climate.

As such the terms of Pan Pacific's deal with the major miner would likely influence other TC/RC talks in the region, although in the last year or two final terms have diverged among participants with some miners demanding lower charges for cleaner, high grade concentrate.

"It is an important figure. It doesn't mean that everyone will settle at the same level, but it sends a very strong signal to the market," said analyst Duncan Hobbs of Macquarie in London.

"We've been thinking that TC/RCs would increase by upwards of 10 percent for contract business in 2013. From a smelter's point of view, it's a good number," he added.

The two companies are likely to settle somewhere in the range of $70.0 to $79.0 a tonne and 7.00 U.S. cents to 7.90 U.S. cents a pound for the charges, up from $63.0 and 6.30 cents for the whole of 2012, said the source, who has direct knowledge of the terms.

An agreement may come by the end of the year, the source added, declining to be named as the talks were confidential.

Global miners pay TC/RC to smelters to convert concentrate into refined metal and the charges are deducted from the sale price based on LME copper prices. Higher charges are typically seen when concentrate supply rises.

Earlier this month, China's copper smelters lowered their expectations for 2013 TC/RCS to $70-$75 and 7-7.5 cents, from $80 a tonne and 8 cents a pound.

The benchmark terms are substantially higher than the spot market, where recent tenders were in a tight range of $58/5.8 to $62/6.2, a concentrate trader in Europe said.

Miners typically agree to pay higher fees for material sold on contract because they have a guaranteed buyer.

In early talks with Chinese smelters BHP offered $60 and 6 cents while Freeport did not put a figure on the table.

The International Wrought Copper Council expects global mine supply to expand 6.5 percent to more than 17.7 million tonnes in 2013, versus a 3 percent growth this year.

Source: Mineweb

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Japan copper exports rise 26 pct yr/yr in December

Japan's exports of refined copper rose 26 percent in December from a year earlier, aided by a 40 percent jump in cathode sales to China, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday.

Exports of refined copper, which includes cathode and billet, totaled 39,309 tonnes, though they were down from the previous month's 46,278 tonnes.  

A robust expansion in exports to China, the world's top consumer of the metal, slowed from the previous month's 100 percent jump, but volume stayed at a high level due to improved arbitrage, buying at London Metal Exchange copper prices  and selling at Shanghai prices.

China's refined copper imports rose 18.3 percent in December on the month to a record high also due to increased use of copper for financing purposes, according to the General Administration of Customs data announced this month.

Demand for copper, found in industrial products ranging from cars to computer chips, is seen as a gauge of economic activity.      

China, Taiwan and Indonesia are the key export markets for Japanese copper.    

Following are refined copper and copper cathode exports (intonnes): 

Type           Dec 11     Nov 11   Dec 10     Jan-Dec 11    Jan-Dec 10
Refined*        39,309    46,278    31,180       610,358      528,372
Cathode only    36,046    44,532    28,761       402,114      491,313

* Includes cathode copper

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BHP silent on report of 24% cut in coking coal prices to Japan

Top global coking coal exporter BHP Billiton declined on Thursday to comment on a report that it has agreed to a 24% cut in coking coal prices to Japanese steelmakers for October to December.

The reported 24% cut matches the steep fall in spot coking coal prices, which have slumped to around $165 a tonne for the key steel-making fuel, amid an unexpected slowdown in demand from China and weaker steel output around the region.

Japan's Nikkei reported on Wednesday that Japanese steelmakers and BHP had agreed to set prices at $170 a ton for the December quarter, which the newspaper said was the lowest level since the quarterly pricing system was adopted two years ago.

BHP said it never comments on what it called price speculation.

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Japan Q3 aluminum premium talks kick off at $200/mt plus LME CIF Japan

Negotiations for premiums for primary aluminum ingot to be exported to Japan in the third quarter have started, with Rio Tinto Alcan offering a premium of $200/mt plus London Metal Exchange cash CIF Japan, sources said.

A representative from a second global producer, who will be meeting with Japanese buyers this week, has not yet made Q3 premium offers, two Japanese buyer sources said.
Six other overseas suppliers are expected to make their Q3 premium offers in the coming weeks, Japanese buyers added.

The negotiations are for 30,000-50,000 mt/month of primary aluminum ingot of minimum 99.7% aluminum and maximum 0.2% iron, 0.1% silicon content.
Some Japanese buyers started negotiations earlier in May to secure Q3 volumes amid mounting concern over tightening supply, Platts reported earlier.

There was talk in the market of two deals settling at $190-200/mt plus LME cash CIF Japan for 500 mt/month shipments over June-September, but this could not be immediately confirmed.
Two sources said they had heard of a spot deal done at $190/mt plus LME cash CIF earlier this month. Three other sources said another deal was heard done last week at $200/mt plus LME cash CIF Japan, with one adding that it was believed to be for two or more shipments over several months from June.

Platts was not immediately able to reach the companies named as directly involved in the deals.
One buyer source said the deals reached earlier in May were the result of some Japanese buyers wanting more shipments to arrive over May-June before possible power shortages emerge over July-September in the Osaka region. Kansai Electric Power Company, the power utility in Osaka, has not yet been able to restart its nuclear power plant.

But rolling mills and other aluminum end-users outside Osaka are not advancing their production schedules to avoid power shortages, sources added.

"The moves to produce ahead, to avoid power shortages, is limited to mills producing foils [in Osaka] that consume more power [than production of other rolled products]," one rolling mill source said.

"Most mills are keeping their output level unchanged," the source added. "For some mills, I hear aluminum products orders have been slower than their initial expectations since April."

Source: Platts

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kobe Steel to invest $298 million in Southdown iron ore project in Australia

TOKYO – Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it reached agreement with trading firm Sojitz Corporation to take a 33% equity share in Sojitz Resources & Technology Pty Ltd, currently a 100% owned subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation.

Sojitz Resources & Technology and Grange Resources Limited are conducting a Definitive Feasibility Study for Australia’s Southdown Project. Sojitz Resources & Technology has a 30% stake in the project. By acquiring shares in Sojitz Resources & Technology, Kobe Steel will indirectly hold a 9.9% interest in Southdown.

The Southdown Project is a new iron ore project, which will produce magnetite pellet feed. This is pulverized magnetic iron ore, highly suitable for processing into pellets. The Southdown magnetite deposit is located approximately 90 kilometers northeast of the Port of Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. The project proposes to produce 10 million metric tons per year of premium magnetite pellet feed with about 69% iron content. First shipment is expected in 2015. The total cost of the project is estimated to reach approximately 250 billion yen.

In addition to acquiring shares in Sojitz Resources & Technology, Kobe Steel agreed with Sojitz Corporation to offtake 1.5 million metric tons per year of the magnetite pellet feed produced from the Southdown magnetite deposit. This will contribute to stable operation and cost reductions at the Pellet Plant at Kobe Steel’s Kakogawa Works.

In the future, high-grade iron ore will decrease and iron ore prices are forecast to remain high. By participating in this project, Kobe Steel will be able to further increase its iron ore interests. This will help Kobe Steel secure necessary resources and increase the competitiveness of its steel business.


Profile of the Southdown Project

Equity share:Grange Resources 70%, Sojitz Resources & Technology 30%
Location:Southern Western Australia (90 km northeast of the Port of Albany)
Product:Magnetite pellet feed
Production volume:10 million metric tons/year
Development plan:Production to begin in 2015
Shipping port:Port of Albany


Profile of Sojitz Resources and Technology

Name:Sojitz Resources & Technology Pty Ltd (Name to change after Kobe takes equity)
Equity share:Sojitz Corporation 100%
(After Kobe’s equity participation: Sojitz 67%, Kobe Steel 33%)
Location:Perth, Western Australia
Managing Director:Miki Akai
Business:Holds 30% equity share in the Southdown Project


Profile of Grange Resources

Name:Grange Resources Limited
Equity share:Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange
Location:Perth, Western Australia
Managing Director:Russell Clark

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Japanese trading houses bullish on resource deals

Japan's trading houses have turned bullish on investing in natural resources, leading more of them to seek bigger stakes in overseas mining projects, said a senior official at a Japanese state-run company that provides them with financing.

The trading houses, known as shosha, are taking an aggressive stance in part because of the strong yen and solid commodity prices, said Shuichi Miyatake, director for the exploration technology division of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC).

"Many companies are saying that they are going to put a great deal of effort into natural resources investment," Miyatake told Reuters in an interview, pointing to copper and iron ore as a primary focus.

"They are going to be aggressive in overseas projects. I am not expecting the number of projects to decline," said Miyatake, who was in Toronto for PDAC, the mining industry's largest annual conference.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Japanese company to start rare earths production in India

KOLKATA  - Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation was set to start rare earths production in India by April, from monazite sand mined in the country.

Toyotsu Rare Earths India Private, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho would use monazite sand classified as mine waste, and supplied by Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), which extracted uranium and thorium, to produce rare earths like neodymium, lanthanum and cerium.

The establishment of an Indian rare earths production base marked the gains from a series of Indo-Japanese strategic dialogues last year, for joint collaboration on development of rare earths and reducing overdependence on sourcing of the critical resource from China. As part of this bilateral dialogue, Japan removed seven Indian companies from its Foreign End-users List, which included Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), owned and managed by India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

The Japanese initiative to remove IREL from its negative list of entities paved the way for supply of waste monazite sand to Toyota Tsusho to set up smelting facilities for extraction of rare earths in India.

Toyota Tsusho was making preparations to start production in April this year, and assuming the project progressed according to plan, the company expected the Indian plant to produce 4 000 t of rare earths from the first year of production, a company spokesperson said.

The participation of a foreign company in exploitation of beach sand minerals was also made possible by modification of the exploration policy of the DAE. The latter, by virtue of being the sole custodian for production of nuclear fuel like uranium and thorium, enjoyed a monopoly over beach sand because of its thorium content.

Such a policy resulted in underexploitation of resources, with India controlling 17% of total world beach sand mineral resources but production accounting for a mere 6% of global production.

However, the monopoly of the DAE has been eased, allowing foreign and Indian private companies to invest in extraction and smelting of rare earths from these beach sand resources, while the DAE retained the monopoly on nuclear fuel production.

“Of the 21-million tons of rare-earth element reserves in India, monazite alone constituted 10.21-million tons, with the province of Andhra Pradesh topping the list with reserves of 3.73-million ton,” head of geology at Andhra University C Kasipathy said.

Toyota Tsusho previously sourced its entire production of neodymium, lanthanum and cerium from China, however, in recent years, depending on the country for these resources has become exceedingly problematic, with Toyota Tsusho forced to look for new sources in Vietnam, the US, Indonesia and Australia, apart from its new facility in India.