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Refined copper supply exceeds demand in August

International – The global refined copper market bucked recent trends by posting a significant surplus of 85 000 tonnes in August this year. However, supply still fell 52 000 tonnes short of usage when assessed across the first eight months of the year as a whole, according to the International Copper Study Group. The market deficit in last year’€™s January-August period was 139 000 tonnes.

Refined copper supply has been bolstered by rising secondary production from scrap, with the eight-month total of 2.771 million tonnes representing an increase of 10% from last year’s 2.515 million tonnes; in contrast, primary production edged 1.5% lower to 12.777 million tonnes.

Refined output climbed 4.5% in Asia and 4% in Europe but declined by 2% in Africa, 9% in the Americas and 8% in Oceania.

World apparent refined copper usage remained essentially unchanged in the first eight months of 2017, reaching 15.602 million tonnes as compared to 15.599 million tonnes by the end of August last year.

Preliminary data indicates that China’s apparent usage dipped 1% whereas the rest of the world recorded an increase of around 1%. ‘Improved scrap supply is constraining world refined copper usage growth globally,’ states the International Copper Study Group.

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