China's Jiangxi Copper posts best quarterly profit in four years

BEIJING, Oct 29 – Jiangxi Copper Co, one of China's leading copper producers, lifted third-quarter net profit by 2.3 percent year on year to its highest since 2014 as bumper treatment charges offset falling copper prices.

The Nanchang-based company, which is still without a general manager after the departure of Wu Yuneng in July, earned net income of 767.3 million yuan ($110.31 million) in the three months to Sept. 30 on revenue up 1.8 percent at 58.09 billion yuan, it said in a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing.

That represents Jiangxi Copper's best quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2014, when it made 1.13 billion yuan, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.

Shanghai copper prices fell by 3.1 percent over the third quarter and are down 11.9 percent in the year to date on concerns that a U.S-China trade war will crimp demand for industrial metals in China, the world's biggest copper consumer.

Jiangxi Copper's Shanghai shares have shed 35.5 percent this year.

However, treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), which copper miners pay smelters such as Jiangxi Copper to process their ore into refined metal, were riding high in the third quarter amid abundant supply of copper concentrate, boosting the company's bottom line.

The China Smelters Purchase Team, a smelter group whose members include Jiangxi Copper, has set the fourth-quarter treatment charge floor at $90 a tonne ahead of negotiations with miners on the 2019 TC/RC benchmark, which will play a significant role in determining profitability of both sides next year. ($1 = 6.9560 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(By Tom Daly; Editing by David Goodman)