Exclusive: Codelco to seek to cut 2013 copper premiums to Asia by about $5 - source

Codelco, the world's No.1 copper producer, will seek to reduce 2013 physical copper premiums to Asian buyers by about $5, while its European rate will likely be held or trimmed by a smaller amount, a source linked to the company told Reuters.

The possible offer of a roughly $105 premium per tonne for Chinese clients over cash London Metal Exchange copper prices comes as international mining companies fret about a sag in demand from top metals consumer China.

For 2012, Codelco offered $90 premiums to its European clients and $93 premiums to its Japanese clients, trading sources told Reuters. Codelco sets the industry's benchmark in terms of global copper premiums.

Copper, which is used extensively in construction and is seen as a bellwether for the health of the global economy, gained around 7 percent this quarter, closing at $8,205 a tonne on Friday.

(Reporting By Alexandra Ulmer and Fabian Cambero)