SHANGHAI, Nov. 21 (SMM) – Operating rates at major Chinese copper smelters averaged 92.48% in October, down 2.44 percentage points from September, according the latest SMM survey of 22 smelters.
The overall operating rate was dragged down mainly by unit maintenance at Jiangxi Copper Co. and Hangzhou Fuchunjiang Smelting, and partly by production cuts at Yunnan Copper Group and Baiyin Nonferrous Metals Group.
Falling copper prices and sluggish consumption depressed some smelters’ enthusiasm for production. The average copper price dropped to 48,207 yuan per tonne in October, compared with 49,464 yuan per tonne in September and Q3’s average of 49,658 yuan a tonne, SMM data indicate.
Large smelters, except Jiangxi Copper, maintained high operating rates as high TCs for concentrate allowed fat profits.
Medium smelters witnessed a nearly 7 percentage point decline in operating rate.
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