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Refined copper deficit deepens in 2017 despite added scrap input

Global – The shortfall in the global refined copper market widened from 150 000 tonnes in 2016 to 163 000 tonnes last year despite secondary production from scrap jumping 4.5% higher in 2017 to beyond 4 million tonnes.

According to latest data published by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), secondary output climbed from 3.866 million tonnes in 2016 to 4.037 million tonnes last year whereas primary production declined 0.15% to 19.471 million tonnes, thus resulting in an overall production increase of 0.6% to 23.508 million tonnes.

‘Increased availability of scrap allowed world secondary refined production to increase, notably in China,’ the ICSG points out.

On a regional basis, refined copper output from primary and secondary sources combined is estimated to have increased by 1.5% in Africa, 3.5% in Asia and 3.7% in Europe whereas substantial declines of 7.5% and 15% were recorded by, respectively, the Americas and Oceania.

Worldwide, apparent refined copper usage is estimated to have increased by 0.7% last year to 23.67 million tonnes as, according to the ICSG, ‘improved scrap supply constrained world refined copper usage growth’.

Among major copper-using countries, usage increased in China, India and Japan but declined in the USA, Germany and South Korea.

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