Raw material markets
On the concentrate markets, new projects are expected in 2019 to some extent. Mines will likely utilize their full production capacities, especially on the basis of the forecasts for the average copper price in 2019. A series of successful wage negotiations between mines and unions in 2018 have reduced the likelihood of disruptions due to strikes in 2019 compared to the previous year. Supported by our position on the market and our supplier diversification, we are confident that we will be able to secure a good supply once again. We continue to anticipate good availability of copper concentrates on the global market. The expected treatment and refining charges will likely be at a satisfactory level.
Following a temporary tightening of the copper scrap market at the start of fiscal year 2017/18 resulting from higher demand from China, this market was more favorable again at the end of the fiscal year. The copper price, which remains high, means that copper scrap collection in Europe is sufficient. The higher metal and copper prices that analysts expect in some cases could nevertheless lead to an improved supply.
The development of the copper scrap and blister copper supply can’t be gauged, however. Business in this area, particularly for copper scrap, is conducted with short timelines and is therefore dependent on influences that are difficult to forecast. Falling metal prices could lead to a market change with declining refining charges in the short term. Our broad market position absorbs supply risks in this case. In the first quarter of 2018/19, we are supplied with sufficient material with good refining charges.