SHANGHAI Nov. 30 (CBI China)--According to data from the China National Bureau of Statistics, China refined copper output reached an annual high of 357.7kt in October, up 50.5kt from September. Meanwhile, SHFE copper stock levels continued to increase, and as a result, domestic copper prices were soft.
Some industrial players believed the rise in refined copper output was due in part to the opening of Xiangguang Copper's new 200kt p.a. refined copper project, but CBI disputes these rumors as Xiangguang Copper just began supplying goods to the market in late November. CBI believes the actual refined copper output is lower than the NBS figure as:
1) Tightness in the scrap copper supply eased during September and October, resulting only in a slight increase in scrap-based refined copper output.
2) Output should show a gradual increase from start-up of new projects since August, and not a sudden jump in output in October.
A recent CBI survey of 17 major domestic copper smelters (total capacity of 3,510kt p.a.) revealed their collective refined copper output during October increased by only 20.4kt over September levels. Therefore, the October output of domestic refined copper was estimated to be approximately 320 – 330kt.