LONDON, Nov. 25 -- The global copper market surplus grew to 151,000 mt in August, from 4,000 mt in July, on a decline in Chinese usage based on lower net imports and a drop in consumption in Europe over the summer holiday period, according to the International Copper Study Group.
This compares with a deficit of as much as 140,000 mt in June and 75,000 mt in May.
Refined output rose to 1.57 million mt from 1.54 million in July while usage fell to 1.42 million mt from 1.53 million mt.
Adjusted for seasonal effects, the surplus was 90,000 mt, compared with 11,000 mt in July.
In the first eight months of the year, the market was in a deficit of 32,000 mt, smaller than the 117,000-tonne deficit of the year-earlier period which ended just before the start of the global economic crisis last autumn.
Consumption over the first eight months fell 1.5% as a surge of 45% in Chinese apparent usage failed to offset a decrease of 1.7 million mt, corresponding to 19%, in the rest of the world.
Chinese apparent usage rose by 1.5 million mt while usage in the EU-15 dropped 23%, in Japan 34% and the USA 23%. These three regions represent about 29% of total world usage.
Mine output grew by 3% in the first eight months, with concentrate production growing by 1.9% while solvent extraction-electro winning (SX-EW) was up by 7.2%. Indonesia, where output increased by 304,000 mt, was the main contributor, while lower output in the two largest producers, Chile and the USA, as well as Canada which totaled 180,000 mt, partially offset growth in other countries.
The capacity utilization rate in August was 79.7%, slightly above the average of the previous seven months.
In the first eight months, refined output fell 0.8%, with primary production dropping by 0.5% while secondary output dropped 3% reflecting the global scarcity of scrap in the early part of the year.
(Source: Metal Bulletin)