SHANGHAI Dec. 28 (CBI China)--Last week, Yunnan Copper Company closed its 200kt p.a. ISASMELT technology-based smelting furnace for maintenance until late January 2008. The company had no plans to buy crude copper or anode plates to make up the output loss. Meanwhile, production lines of its 400kt p.a. electrolytic copper unit will be shut in turn due to the furnace turnaround.
CBI estimates that the 40 to 45-day maintenance will cause Yunnan Copper's refined copper output to drop by 30kt, and the company will halt deliveries of January 2008 contract goods, according to several downstream users. China's domestic refined copper output will fall by approximately 40kt during December due to this maintenance at Yunnan Copper as well as scheduled maintenance at Jiangxi Copper Company. Tight domestic supply of copper boosted premiums and stimulated imports.