News dalla rete ITA

18 Novembre 2020

Australia

COPPER MINERS CONFIDENT OF LIFE BEYOND CHINA

Copper miner Sandfire is confident it could find buyers for its products outside of China if Australia's biggest customer decided to add copper to its blacklist of Australian products. Shares in Sandfire slumped by more than 5 per cent on Tuesday after Chinese media speculated that Australian copper could be hit with the sort of restrictions that have already hit Australian barley, lobsters, wine and coal exports this year. The unconfirmed speculation caused less heartache for investors in South Australian copper exporter OZ Minerals, which saw its shares rise incrementally on Tuesday. The speculation came after a fortnight in which copper stockpiles surged to the highest levels since July on fears that coronavirus lockdowns in Germany, France and the UK could crimp the global economy and therefore demand for copper, which is ubiquitous in manufacturing. About 93 per cent of Sandfire's product was sent to China in fiscal 2020, with the rest going to the Philippines and Japan. ''Should it be required, Sandfire is confident in its ability to increase sales contract volumes to existing and also new copper concentrate customers in non-Chinese markets,'' the company said on Tuesday. Sandfire added that it had the financial resources to weather a storm, with $398 million of cash and no debt. Australia is the world's third-biggest copper exporter, delivering about 5 per cent of the world's seaborne copper. About half of Australia's copper goes to China, with the Department of Industry putting the face value of annual sales to China at $3.7 billion, ahead of Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Copper is considered to have the best prospects of almost any metal in the future given many of the world's biggest mines are past their peak production and new supplies are often found in challenging jurisdictions such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mongolia, where Rio has struggled to establish the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The conductive, malleable nature of copper means it is required for most consumer electronics, and the metal is also expected to enjoy strong demand from electric vehicles in the future. The China speculation comes after a stellar seven months for Australian copper miners, who have been able to operate near full speed while their major rivals in South America have been hampered and delayed by major coronavirus outbreaks.  (ICE SYDNEY)


Fonte notizia: AFR