Chinese firms to use INE copper prices more in international trade

Credit: Jiangxi Copper

Companies including Chinese copper producers Jiangxi Copper and Zijin Mining on Friday agreed to use yuan-denominated Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) prices more in cross-border trade, the bourse’s parent said.

China, the world’s top copper consumer, launched the INE copper contract a year ago in a bid to exert more influence over pricing for metal. The contract, which is open to international investors, has not threatened the dollar-denominated London Metal Exchange (LME) contract as the global benchmark, however.

On the first anniversary of the INE copper futures launch, trading house IXM, a unit of China Molybdenum Co (CMOC) , and Singapore trader Lobb Heng Pte joined Jiangxi Copper and Zijin in signing the agreement, a statement from INE parent the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) said.

The companies agreed to use INE prices as the basis for contract valuation and settlement for both refined copper and copper concentrate in international trade, it added.

Jiangxi Copper and Zijin are two of China’s biggest copper producers, controlling both mines and smelters. IXM, formerly the metals trading division of Louis Dreyfus Company, markets copper from CMOC’s Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its Northparkes project in Australia.

Zijin vice president Lin Hongying said in the statement the INE futures contract can help companies avoid foreign exchange risks and reduce their hedging costs.

In its first year, some 24.55 million tonnes of copper was traded on the INE, with a turnover of 1.47 trillion yuan ($230 billion), said the ShFE, which has its own copper futures contract only for domestic participants.

In LME futures, around 815.15 million tonnes of copper changed hands in 2020, exchange data showed.

($1 = 6.3886 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(By Tom Daly; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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