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Scrap availability boosts refined copper production

Global – Secondary production from scrap was almost entirely responsible for the 2% increase in global refined copper output in the opening month of 2017.

Production from scrap surged 13% higher year on year to 345 000 tonnes from 305 000 tonnes in the first month of last year whereas primary production remained virtually unchanged at around 1.63 million tonnes, according to latest statistics released by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

‘Increased availability of scrap allowed world secondary refined production to increase, notably in China where the upward trend started in the fourth quarter of 2016,’ notes the Portugal-headquartered organisation. On a regional basis, total refined copper output is estimated to have increased by 6% in Asia, 3% in Africa and 2% in Europe while falling 6% in the Americas.

Meanwhile, apparent refined copper usage is believed to have climbed around 1.8% in January this year to 1.925 million tonnes, indicating a market surplus of 51 000 tonnes as compared to an excess of 44 000 tonnes in the opening month of 2016.

Regionally, usage in January 2017 is estimated to have increased by 2% in Asia and 3.5% in Europe while declining in all the other regions.

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