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Scrap supports refined copper production growth

Global – The global refined copper market racked up a surplus of 298 000 tonnes across July and August this year on the back of softer apparent demand in China and seasonally weak usage in other regions. But figures from the International Copper Study Group show a production deficit of around 91 000 tonnes for the opening eight months of 2016 as compared to an excess of some 10 000 tonnes in last year’€™s corresponding period.

Helped by secondary production from scrap rising 5.5% from 2.55 million tonnes in January-August 2015 to 2.693 million tonnes this time round, total production of refined copper climbed 3.1% from 15.023 million tonnes last year to 15.491 million tonnes.

Refined output is estimated to have increased by 5% in the Americas, 6% in Asia and 10% in Oceania while declining in Africa (-13%) and in Europe (-3%). World refinery capacity utilisation for the first eight months was practically the same in 2015 and 2016 at around 83%.

World refined copper usage surged from 15.013 million tonnes in January-August last year to 15.582 million tonnes, increasing by 2.5% in Europe and 6% in Asia while declining by 11% and 4.5% in, respectively, Africa and the Americas.

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