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Refined copper market deficit exceeds 50 000 tonnes in 2016

Global – Although total refined copper production increased last year, there was a reduced contribution from scrap, according to latest statistics issued by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

When compared to 2015, world refined production is estimated to have increased by around 2.5% to 23.406 million tonnes, with primary output climbing 3% to 19.547 million tonnes and secondary production from scrap declining some 2% or 86 000 tonnes to 3.859 million tonnes. Total refined output is said to have edged 1% higher in the Americas and to have jumped 6% in Asia while dropping 10% in Africa and 2% in Europe.

There was a gain of 426 000 tonnes, or around 2%, in global refined copper usage last year. ‘Growth was mainly due to an increase in Chinese apparent demand as world usage excluding China is estimated to have increased by only 0.9%,’ the ICSG points out. Indeed, the USA and Japan – the world’s second and third largest users – recorded declines of, respectively, 2% and 2.5%. Conversely, Europe posted an increase of 2%.

Despite a surplus of 17 000 tonnes in December, there was a shortfall of 55 000 tonnes in the refined copper market when viewed across the whole of last year.

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