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UPDATE 1-Pan Pacific cuts 15 pct from 2013 China copper premium -source

Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 12:25 AM ET

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TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Japan's biggest copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper Co , is offering a term premium of $85 per tonne to clients in China for 2013 shipments, down 15 percent from last year, a source familiar with the matter said.

The cut is at the high end of expectations, reflecting the eagerness of suppliers in Japan, the world's third-biggest producer of refined copper after Chile and China, to sell the metal.

A Chinese buyer of Japanese copper said last week he expected Japanese suppliers to cut premiums by $10 to $15 a tonne. A Chinese executive said firms were reluctant to buy from Japan because of tensions between the two countries over a territorial dispute.

A Japanese trader said the decline in premium and the delay in talks were due to uncertainty over demand in China.

"Chinese buyers are taking time to read the market outlook. Some expect the government will take additional stimulus measures to prop up the economy, raising copper demand later this year," said the source, who declined to be identified because the talks were not public.

Pan Pacific Copper sold refined copper at a premium of $100 a tonnes over the cash London Metal Exchange copper price

to Chinese buyers for term shipments this year.

Pan Pacific is a joint venture between JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp and Mitsui Mining and Smelting. .

(Reporting by Yuko Inoue and Polly Yam; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

((yuko.inoue@thomsonreuters.com)(81-3-6441-1815)(Reuters

Messaging: yuko.inoue.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CHINA COPPER/PREMIUM

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