Copper Smelters in India are likely to bear a brunt from the fall in global copper prices. The treatment and refining charges (TC/RC) for 2016 will get locked at much lower rates than last year. According to Metal Bulletin, China's largest copper smelter Jiangxi Copper and Chilean copper miner Antofagasta have agreed on 2016 TC/RCs of USD 97.35 a tonne compared to USD 107 last year. Even if smelters and miners are still negotiating, it is very clear the tone is bearish in the market. Indian smelters like Hindalco, Sterlite are already bearing the brunt with aluminium market going through tough period. The lone public sector utility is Hindustan Copper which has its own captive mines.
India has a history of copper usage from copper age. But for the last 3 decades, it was only Hindustan Copper Ltd, producing 3% of world copper in India. Now, we have 3 companies viz. Hindustan Copper, Sterlite Industries, Hindalco produce copper making India a net exporter from importer few years back.
In India, copper usage stems from 30% for cable for telecom and 26% for power equipment. Automobile Sector also consumes copper around 11%.
In India, Sterlite Industries Ltd, purchased the United States' third largest copper producer, Asarco, for $2.6 billion. This kind of business move has helped not only to further cultivate India's global presence in the copper industry, but has also help in the growth of the country's domestic copper industry.