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Copper market spends third month in deficit

Global – Following on from a deficit of 544 000 tonnes in January-November 2014, the global refined copper market returned a surplus of 51 000 tonnes in the corresponding period of last year. However, according to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), deficits have been recorded in the last three months under statistical scrutiny, including a shortfall of 27 000 tonnes in November itself.

In the opening 11 months of last year, refined copper output climbed 1.6% thanks to a gain of 2% in primary production to 17.244 million tonnes; secondary production from scrap actually fell by 3000 tonnes from 3.572 million tonnes in January-November 2014 to 3.569 million tonnes in the corresponding period of last year, according to the ICSG.

Total refined production therefore amounted to 20.813 million tonnes in January-November 2015 while refinery capacity utilisation was virtually the same as in the opening 11 months of 2014 at around 83%.

World refined copper usage fell 1% in the first 11 months of last year to 20.762 million tonnes despite 1.5% increases in Africa and Asia; these gains were more than offset by declines of 1.5% in the Americas, 10% in Europe and 55% in Oceania, the ICSG figures confirm.

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