SHANGHAI, Feb. 6 (SMM) –
Apparent consumption of refined copper during December 2011 was 863,600 mt, up 73,700 mt from November. Increases in both output and imports of refined copper caused apparent consumption of refined copper to increase significantly, but did not translate to an increase in real consumption. According to an SMM survey of downstream producers, operating rates at copper semis producers remained relatively low during December, so any increase in apparent consumption of refined copper was just a shift of copper to bonded warehouses and domestic commercial warehouses. Apparent consumption of refined copper is expected to fall in January due to the New Year and Chinese New Year holidays.
Apparent consumption of copper semis during December 2011 was about 1.05 million mt, down slightly by 31,000 mt from November. However, since there were no holidays in China during December, as well as the seasonal low demand period, apparent consumption of copper semis was stable. Nevertheless, since copper semis output fell noticeably in January, apparent consumption should also show sharp declines.