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Surplus widens in copper market

Global – World refined copper production from scrap jumped 6% from 319 000 tonnes in January 2015 to 339 000 tonnes in the first month of this year.

With primary production leaping 7%, total refined output amounted to 2.006 million tonnes as against the 1.878 million tonnes of January last year, latest International Copper Study Group (ICSG) statistics reveal. Refined copper usage, meanwhile, climbed around 4.5% worldwide to 1.951 million tonnes whereas China’s apparent demand surged 16% based on a 15.5% increase in net imports of refined copper.

Excluding China, world usage dropped by around 5% year on year, with declines of 3% in Europe, 1.5% in Africa and 7% in the Americas. These figures mean that the global refined copper market recorded a surplus of 56 000 tonnes in January this year compared to an excess of 15 000 tonnes in the opening month of 2015, according to the ICSG.

When making the same comparison, world refinery capacity utilisation climbed from 81% to 85%.

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