European copper recycler Aurubis expects copper demand to increase in FY 2021 because of which it plans to maintain its copper premiums at $96/mt over the three-month LME price benchmark. The recycler also expects adequate- to surplus-supply of concentrate and recyclable material in 2021 and has pegged its earnings in the range of €210-270mn next fiscal.
The company noted in its annual report for FY 2020 that its cathode sales to China offset the decline in demand in the European copper market due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover lower treatment and refining charges for copper concentrate affected its earnings this year. However, better throughput rates, owing to the addition of the Metallo sites in Spain and Belgium in Q4, offset those reductions.
The company’s chairman, Roland Harings, said that Aurubis intends to sell its flat-rolled products division and is currently in advanced negotiations with a buyer, which were delayed by the pandemic. This segment’s output fell by 15pc in the fiscal to 178,000mt.
In FY 2020, the company’s concentrate throughput increased by 7pc to 2.37mn mt from last year. However, its copper scrap input fell by 15pc to 370,000mt during the same period under comparison. This led to a decline in its annual copper cathode and wire rod output by 4pc and 6pc on an annual basis to 1mn mt and 759,000mt, respectively. During Q4 2020, the group noted an average realized price of $6,872/mt, up by 18pc over the same quarter last year.
Aurubis posted an operating EBIT of €221mn for the fiscal year 2020, up from €192mn in the prior fiscal.