SHANGHAI, Feb. 15 (SMM) - As the largest copper consuming country in the world, China is heavily reliant on imported goods. Copper imports surged over recent years with growing demand. Meanwhile, self-sufficiency ratio also increased, SMM says.
China’s copper smelting capacity is still in supply shortages, so China needs to import large amounts of copper each year.
Copper cathode imports totaled 3.63 million tonnes in 2016, up 334.63% from 2001, according to China Customs data.
China’s copper smelting capacity expanded noticeably over recent years due to rising spot TCs of copper concentrate, higher profit at smelters, the need of local governments to increase fiscal revenue and stronger domestic demand. This increased China’s self-sufficiency ratio of copper cathode, SMM said.
Domestic copper cathode capacity totaled 10.80 million tonnes in 2016, up 91% from 2008, according to SMM data. In this scenario, domestic copper cathode output increased from 3.71 million tonnes in 2008 to 7.76 million tonnes in 2016.
SMM data show China’s self-sufficiency ratio of copper cathode rose from 62.5% in 2010 to 70.97% in 2016 as output grows.
SMM understands domestic copper cathode output will increase to 8 million tonnes in 2017 with commissioning of some smelting capacities. So, self-sufficiency ratio of copper cathode will increase further, SMM added.
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