SHANGHAI, Jun. 24 (SMM) – China’s refined copper output is expected to increase sharply in the second half of this year along with new production capacity and ample raw material supplies, Shanghai Metals Market foresees.
The sufficient availability of raw materials is due mainly to high imports.
Chinese smelters have been actively importing copper concentrate as spot TC for imported material hovered above $100 per tonne. China Customs data showed that copper concentrate imports grew 17.3% during the first five months of the year, compared with a 28.72% drop in 2013. Imports of anode copper/blister copper also increased at a high growth rate of 20% from the same period last year.
The commissioning of new copper capacities will also allow for the increase in output during the rest of the year. This also served as a driving factor behind rising output in May, as Jinchuan Group and Northern Copper Industrial Company put their new capacity online in the month.
In May, China’s refined copper output grew by 13,400 tonnes to 474,600 tonnes, according to SMM survey of 24 major Chinese copper smelters. In addition to new capacities, production resumption from unit maintenance at Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group was another reason for rising production in May, the SMM survey revealed.
The National Bureau of Statistics data showed China’s total copper output in May totaled 615,000 tonnes, up 5.31% from April, and year-to-date output through May also increased 6.76% to 2.85 million tonnes year-on-year.