SHANGHAI, Oct. 24 (SMM) – The average operating rate at China’s major copper smelters hit a 2013 high of 92.08% in September, up 2.63% MoM, according to the most recent survey undertaken by Shanghai Metals Market (SMM).
Copper prices moved in a narrow range during September, with SMM average copper prices stabilizing above RMB 52,000/mt. Large volumes of copper concentrate imported also allowed smelters to run at high operating rates.
Chifeng Gold Sword Cupreous Industry resumed production in September after completing unit maintenance, while Yunnan Tin also put its production line, which was also closed earlier for maintenance, both helping raise September’s average operating rate.
Tight scrap copper supply during H1 2013 negatively affected production at copper smelters. However, smelters raised the proportion of crude copper used for production in 2H, and also increased usage of imported copper concentrate given high TC, which will help keep operating rates at high levels in 4Q.