SHANGHAI, Apr. 28 (SMM) – China’s refined copper output increased 10.81% MoM and 7.06% YoY in March to 636,000 mt, the National Bureau of Statistics announced. YTD output through March hit 1.83 million mt, a rise of 10.98%.
SMM surveyed 22 Chinese copper smelters representing 6.51 million mt in annual capacity to find that their combined output grew to 463,800 mt in March.
SMM spot lead prices averaged RMB 42,735/mt in March, up RMB 1,241/mt. The increase in copper prices and the arrival of the peak demand season spurred copper production.
Zhangjiagang United Copper’s 100,000 mt/yr project, which is still in trials and Dongying Fangyuan Copper’s 200,000 mt/yr project have yet to really contribute to copper supply. Nonetheless, Zhangjiagang’s project may be the first of China’s large new copper projects planned for commissioning this year to actually commence production. China National Gold’s copper smelter in Sanmenxia is expected to enter service in early May. SMM thus predicts a sharp rise in copper output in H2 2015.