Global – After recording a surplus in August, the global refined copper market swung sharply into deficit the following month, according to latest data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG). As a result, and despite significantly increased secondary production from scrap, refined copper output lagged 181 000 tonnes behind demand across the opening three quarters of 2017; in the corresponding period of 2016, the deficit had amounted to 167 000 tonnes.
World refined copper production climbed 0.5% to 17.495 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2017, with a 1.3% decline in primary production to 14.378 million tonnes more than offset by a secondary production hike of 9.5% – from 2.844 million tonnes in January-September 2016 to 3.117 million tonnes.
‘Increased availability of scrap allowed world secondary refined production to increase, notably in China,’ the ICSG reiterates. And it adds: ‘Improved scrap supply is constraining world refined copper usage growth globally.’
World apparent refined copper usage followed production in climbing around 0.5% in the first nine months of this year, posting a total of 17.676 million tonnes.
Chinese usage (excluding changes in unreported stocks) remained essentially unchanged; there were increases reported for India and Japan whereas the USA, Germany and South Korea registered declines.
Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.