SHANGHAI, Dec. 20 (SMM) -
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s output of copper concentrate was 124 kt in November, up 14.8% MoM and up 31.9% YoY. YTD output from January to November reached 1.157 million mt, up 18.8% YoY. Rising copper concentrate output is closely related to higher output of refined copper at copper smelters, which stimulated demand for copper concentrate. Improved profits from higher copper prices were also boosting ore production. SMM believes December output at copper smelters will be little changed from November levels, and coupled with the existing high copper prices, China’s output of copper concentrate during December will be flat at November levels.
According to the NBS, China’s output of refined copper was 443 kt in November, up 10.8% MoM and up 4.5% YoY. YTD output from January to November reached 4.374 million mt, up 12.6% YoY, and surpassing 2009 total output of 4.2519 million mt. November output of 443 kt was a record high, and according to the SMM survey, the average operating rate at major domestic copper smelters was 89.85% in November, up from October’s 87.38% and in line with higher refined copper output. Refined copper production in October was affected by China’s National Day holiday in the first week of the month, which closed some smelters and resulted in low output. Meanwhile, copper prices advanced throughout October and remained high, depressing downstream purchases and forcing copper smelters to control output. In addition, price corrections in November stimulated downstream purchasing, which in turn stimulated production. Ample supply of raw materials also helped smelters maintain high output levels, and all these factors contributed to the increase in refined copper output in November. With the need for cash collection at the year-end, SMM expects China’s refined copper output in December will fall slightly from November levels.
According to the NBS, China’s output of copper semis was 999 kt in November, up 12.2% MoM and up 9.8% YoY. YTD output from January to November reached 9.604 million mt, up 10.9% YoY.
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