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Secondary copper production jumps 5.5% in Q1

Global – World refined copper production increased by around 5% or 290 000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2016 when compared with the same period in 2015, with primary production climbing 5% and secondary production from scrap advancing 5.5%, according to latest figures from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

The statistics also reveal a market deficit of 40 000 tonnes in March this year, although the outcome for the whole of the first quarter was a surplus of 42 000 tonnes; this compares to a surplus of 143 000 tonnes in the opening three months of last year.

Secondary production jumped from 929 000 tonnes in the opening three months of 2015 to 982 000 tonnes in the corresponding period of this year. Primary production, meanwhile, moved from 4.59 million tonnes to 4.825 million tonnes when making the same comparison. World refinery capacity utilisation climbed from 83% in January-March 2015 to 85% in the opening quarter of the current year, the ICSG notes.

Comparing the same first quarters, world apparent usage of refined copper surged from 5.376 million tonnes to 5.765 million tonnes. Excluding China, however, world usage declined by around 1.5%. On a regional basis, usage is estimated to have increased by 4% in Europe and 11% in Asia while falling 17% and 3.5% in Africa and the Americas, respectively. Usage was essentially unchanged in Oceania.

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