SHANGHAI, Jan. 28 (SMM) –
China's apparent consumption of refined copper during December was 793,300 mt, up 32,600 mt MoM due to increases in domestic copper output. With copper supply rising at the end of 2012, copper stocks in Chinese bonded areas remained high and actually surpassed 200,000 mt on the SHFE. Apparent consumption of refined copper for the year 2012 totaled 9.1882 million mt, up sharply by 16.93% YoY. In the context of a global supply surplus, China's copper stocks jumped to nearly 500,000 mt in 2012, however, China's apparent consumption of refined copper will probably fall in January as copper imports are expected to fall.
China's apparent consumption of copper semis during December was 1.131 million mt, up 55,000 mt MoM, but the turnaround in apparent consumption did not mean improvement in actual consumption. Output of home appliances, such as air conditioners, was up in December and helped drive operating rate at copper tube/pipe producers higher, but wire and cable demand remained slack at the end of 2012 since new construction projects slowed. SMM believes that China's apparent consumption of copper semis will continue falling in January due to the New Year and Chinese New Year holidays.