SHANGHAI, Mar. 21 (SMM) – China’s copper market will see a 400,000-tonnes surplus in 2014 as increases in production and imports outpace the growth in real consumption, Shanghai Metals Market said at its 9th Copper & Aluminium Summit.
Chinese imports of refined copper may rise by 6.3% year-on-year in 2014 to 3.4 million tonnes on more term shipment bookings and sustained financing demand, SMM’s copper analyst Zhu Wenjun said at the conference in Shanghai today.
``As credit conditions are expected to stay tight this year, copper financing demand from the industry will remain robust, elevating imports,‘’ she said.
At the same time, China’s copper production may climb by 11% year-on-year to over 700,000 tonnes in 2014 after Chinese smelters amply stocked concentrates on higher TC/RCs at last year’s end, she said.
The country’s apparent copper demand may increase 8% year-on-year in 2014 to 10.15 million tonnes as a result, after accounting for a total export of 450,000 tonnes for the year.
``The exports are more likely to go to as far as Shanghai’s bonded warehouses instead of offshore to effectively relieve the supply-glut pressure inside the country,’’ she told the conference delegates.
Zhu expects China’s real consumption of refined copper to gain by only 2.6% from a year ago to 9.75 million tonnes this year.
She expects London Metal Exchange copper prices to dip to as low as between $5,800-6,000 per tonne in 2014, after having peaked at $7,460 per tonne in January for this year.