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Copper price averages US$ 8811 in 2011

Global – According to data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), the refined copper market balance for last October showed a production deficit of 82 000 tonnes. This can be attributed to high Chinese usage, which was 25% higher than the average for the preceding nine months and 50% above that of October 2010.

Worldwide, the apparent refined copper balance for the first 10 months of 2011 indicates a deficit of 296 000 tonnes compared to a shortfall of 439 000 tonnes in the same period of 2010, states the ICSG.

During the first 10 months of 2011, world apparent usage grew by 2% while the increase for China was 2.7 %. Also, despite the country’s higher net imports in October of 295 000 tonnes, its net imports for the first 10 months of 2011 proved to be 21% lower than those for the corresponding period in 2010.

Globally, the average refinery capacity utilisation rate for the first 10 months of 2011 remained similar to that for the same period of 2010 at around 79%.

The monthly average LME cash price went up from US$ 7552 per tonne in November to US$ 7568 in December. The 2011 high and low copper prices were, respectively, US$ 10 148 per tonne (on February 14) and US$ 6785 (on October 4), while the annual average was US$ 8811.

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