Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Copper production by China, the world's largest metals consumer, gained to a record in 2009 as smelters expanded on rising demand and prices.
Output of refined copper gained 9.6 percent to 4.25 million metric tons, the statistics bureau said today. That's a record, according to Grace Qu, an analyst at CRU International Ltd.
Copper had the biggest annual increase in more than two decades last year as China boosted imports to a record on $586 billion of stimulus spending and state stockpiling. The Asian nation's growth rate accelerated to the fastest pace since 2007 in the fourth quarter.
The record output "is a result of expansions at Chinese smelters, spurred by strong demand and rising prices," Qu said from Beijing.
Chinese smelters such as Daye Nonferrous Metal Co., the fifth largest, plan to expand this year by at least 25 percent, the Huangshi Daily reported this month, citing general manager Zhang Lin.