SHANGHAI, Jan. 21 (SMM) –
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s output of copper concentrate was 125,000 mt in December, up significantly from 108,000 mt in November. SMM believes that a significant increase in copper concentrate output during December was due to mines ramping up production before the 2012 Chinese New Year holiday, which falls in January.
According to the NBS, China’s refined copper output in December was 457,000 mt, up 9,000 mt from 448,000 mt in November and in line with the previous SMM’s survey. In December, Jiangxi Copper resumed normal production after completing unit maintenance, while other domestic smelters increased production to complete annual production targets. As a result, output was up during December. Since the Chinese New Year holiday falls in January, domestic refined copper output is expected to be down compared to December, between 400,000-430,000 mt.
According to the NBS, China’s copper semis output in December was 1.03 million mt, down 28,000 mt from 1.06 million mt in November. According to a recent SMM’s survey, copper semis demand from the power generation and home appliance sectors was down significantly due to the seasonal low demand period for those two industries. As a result, operating rates at domestic copper semis producers were down from November’s highs. January demand remains weak, and coupled with the lack of orders during the holiday period in early January, domestic copper semis producers began the Chinese New Year holiday early. In this context, SMM expects domestic copper semis output to fall significantly in January to around 900,000 mt.