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ICSG: scrap bolsters refined copper surplus

Global – The refined copper market recorded a surplus of 35 000 tonnes in the opening three quarters of 2015 – aided by an increase of 4.5% in secondary production from scrap, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) has revealed in its latest statistical bulletin.

Primary refined copper production edged 1% higher to 13.826 million tonnes while the secondary total advanced from 2.884 million tonnes in January-September 2014 to 3.019 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2015. On a regional basis, total refined output is estimated to have increased by 7% in Africa and 3.5% in Asia while remaining unchanged in Europe.

Decreases of 2% and 17% were recorded in, respectively, the Americas and Oceania. Meanwhile, world apparent usage is estimated to have declined by around 1.5% from 17.064 million tonnes in January-September 2014 to 16.81 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2015, notes the ICSG.

Excluding China, world usage declined by around 3.5%. On a regional basis, usage is estimated to have remained essentially unchanged in Asia while increasing by around 3% in Africa and 1.5% in the Americas and declining by 10% in Europe.

Taking all these figures into account, the refined copper market registered a production surplus of around 35 000 tonnes in January-September 2015 compared with a deficit of 452 000 tonnes for the same period in 2014.

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