SHANGHAI, Apr. 8 (SMM) – The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association reported that China’s refined copper output grew by 6.57% YoY during the first two months of this year to 1.06 million mt. Output of refined copper produced with copper concentrate was up by 10.33% YoY to 727,200 mt, since rising ore supplies and high copper concentrate stocks at smelters allowed smelters to maintain high operating rates. Operating rates at copper semis producers also rose in March, with most copper smelters, with the exception of Tongling Jinchang Copper Smelter which conducted maintenance, maintained normal operations. Yuguang Gold & Lead started trial runs of its new copper production line, but no refined copper was produced. Production at copper smelters was little affected by declining copper prices, and SMM expects an increase in refined copper output in March.