China considers copper import licensing system – report
The central government may set up a copper raw material import licensing system to strengthen the smelting ...
The central government may set up a copper raw material import licensing system to strengthen the smelting industry's bargaining power against overseas suppliers and get a firmer grip on prices, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The Hong Kong-based newspaper said the NDRC has called on the government and industry associations to co-ordinate companies' talks with foreign mines to bolster their bargaining power on copper concentrate purchases. Copper smelters import more than half of their concentrate demand.
'To avoid intra-competition for overseas copper concentrate resources due to multi-party procurement that helped push up prices, an import licensing system – similar to that for alumina – can be installed to allow only pillar smelters that satisfy the requirement of the industry's development policy to have import rights,' the report said.
'In 2006, China will see more copper smelting capacity come on stream and shortages of copper concentrate will worsen.'
Only 20 companies are allowed to import alumina after the government curbed the number of importers last year to clamp down on runaway investment in the aluminium smelting sector, the paper said.