SHANGHAI, Aug. 15 (SMM) – Chinese copper smelters are not cutting output due to unsalable sulphuric acid stocks, Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) has learned, contrary to what Reuters reported.
Profitability of this by-product of copper smelting - sulphuric acid - has indeed been crippled as its sales have been poor for long this year, smelter sources told SMM.
But it was not yet enough to make them cut copper output, they said, adding it must be an isolated case, if any smelter cutting.
Reuters reported on August 13 that Chinese copper smelters were forced to cut production of the metal due to problems disposing of sulphuric acid.
Sulphric acid prices have been on a downward trend since mid 2012, SMM data shows, with the average price in July falling by 37% from a year ago to 277 yuan ($45) per tonne.
Due to rising prices of sulphur, from which sulphuric acid is produced, some fertilizer plants are turning to use the acid by-produced by metal smelters, mitigating oversupplies of the chemical, SMM has also learned.