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Higher production from scrap fails to prevent copper deficit

Global – Despite secondary production from scrap jumping well over 5%, the global refined copper market registered an overall deficit of approximately 84 000 tonnes for the first three quarters of 2016; this compares with a production shortfall of around 28 000 tonnes for the same period in 2015.

According to latest figures from the International Copper Study Group, apparent refined usage increased by around 3% year on year to 17.53 million tonnes, mainly as a result of Chinese apparent demand.

On a regional basis, usage is estimated to have climbed 1% in Europe and 5% in Asia while declining 11.5% and 4% in, respectively, Africa and the Americas.

World refined production also climbed around 3% in the first nine months of 2016 to 17.446 million tonnes: primary production advanced 2.5% to 14.39 million tonnes while secondary production from scrap surged 5.5% from 2.89 million tonnes in January-September 2015 to 3.055 million tonnes in the corresponding period of 2016.

On a regional basis, refined output is estimated to have increased in the Americas (5%), Asia (6%) and Oceania (8%) while declining in Africa (-13%) and Europe (-3.5%).

Global refinery capacity utilisation was virtually unchanged from the same period in 2015 at around 83.5%.

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