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Secondary copper production maintains its growth momentum

United States – Although world refined copper production is estimated to have remained essentially unchanged across the first four months of 2017, secondary production from scrap leapt 12% from 1.216 million tonnes in January-April 2016 to 1.364 million tonnes in the same period of this year, according to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

‘Increased availability of scrap allowed world secondary refined production to increase, notably in China,’ the organisation states.

This upsurge compensated for a year-on-year drop in primary refined copper production of 2% to 6.305 million tonnes.

From the regional perspective, refined output is calculated to have increased by 4% in Asia, 3% in Africa and 2% in Europe whereas declines of 10% and 11% are estimated for, respectively, the Americas and Oceania.

Globally, apparent refined copper usage is believed to have slid around 3% in the first four months of 2017 to 7.589 million tonnes.

‘Although world ex-China usage might have grown slightly by around 0.5%, growth was more than offset by a 7% decline in Chinese apparent demand,’ notes the ICSG.

These figures imply a world refined copper market surplus of around 80 000 tonnes for the opening four months of 2017 compared to a deficit of 185 000 tonnes in last year’s corresponding period.

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