SHANGHAI, Jan. 25 (SMM) – SMM carefully selects there pieces of major copper market news for this week:
Morgan Stanley Expects 2013 Copper Prices to Increase to USD 8,554/mt on Demand Support
Analysts at Morgan Stanley saw a rise in copper demand from China, the US and Europe and expected copper supply shortages.
The bank projected copper prices will increase to USD 8,554/mt in 2013 from USD 7,952/mt in 2012.
Morgan Stanley raised Chinese copper demand growth rate from 6.7% to 8.4%. The US construction and automobile industries are also expected to provide support for copper demand, while the European economy is likely to rebound mildly in 2H 2013.
Nearly Half of Copper Plate, Sheet, Strip and Foil Producers See Flat Copper Prices
The latest SMM survey revealed that 46% of copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers believe copper prices will hold flat with current levels for the foreseeable future. Despite the last-minute US fiscal cliff deal, uncertainty in the US economic growth exists, and the US debt ceiling problem remains unresolved. The core consumer price index in the euro zone rose 0.5% in December and indicated recovery in the bloc's consumption, but the European debt crisis prevails. The region's high unemployment rate is not seen to alleviate. As such, these producers anticipate no major changes in copper prices for the foreseeable future.
China Refined Copper Imports Hit Record High 2012
China's refined copper imports rose sharply by 20% to a new record high of 3.4 million mt in 2012, exceeding 3.19 million mt recorded in 2009, on a large number of copper shipments and other reasons. But China's refined copper imports dropped by 4.7% MoM in December.
Analysts hold the view that China's copper imports will become lower in 2013 than 2012 as copper stocks at Chinese bonded areas remain high.
Data also showed that China's copper concentrate imports also touched a record high of 7.83 million mt in 2012, up significantly by 22.7% from a year earlier. China's copper concentrate imports were 935,303 mt in December, also a historical high. With TC/RCs for spot copper concentrate remaining high, copper smelters increased copper concentrate stocks.