SHANGHAI, Oct. 18 (SMM) –Based on SMM's latest survey of 17 scrap copper smelters, the average operating rate at scrap copper smelters was down to 56.3% for September. Most scrap copper smelters cut production to some degrees with some SMEs even suspending production completely. These production slowdowns were attributed to the narrow price gap between scrap and refined copper driven by extremely tight scrap copper supply. The discount on processing #2 copper fell to around RMB 1,000/mt last week. Smelters employing scrap copper are all facing varying degrees of losses as sourcing has become difficult. SMM cannot see that operating rates at scrap copper smelters will be able to improve in the near term.