SHANGHAI, Aug. 7 (SMM) – Copper price went up a higher floor in July, advancing 6.92 per cent on a monthly basis. Market fundamentals also contributed to price gains, in addition to positive economic data from China, US and Europe.
SMM survey shows China’s copper cathode output was 633,000 tonnes in July, down 3.21 per cent on a monthly basis, and off 4.67 per cent on a yearly basis. YTD output from January to July totaled 4.47 million tonnes, down 0.12 per cent on a yearly basis.
The output decline in July was bigger than expected, mainly because unit maintenance at Jianchang Copper and Baiyin Nonferrous Metals reduced output by over 10,000 tonnes over the month. In July, Zijin Copper, Jinchuan Copper (headquarter), Chifeng Yunnan Copper Nonferrous Metals, and Zhongtiaoshan Non-ferrous Metals also took unit maintenance. In August, those smelters, except Jinchuan Copper (headquarter), will return to normal production. Moreover, output at some small and medium copper smelters was restricted by environmental factor, and supply shortages of blister copper and copper scrap, also negatively overall production.
The small year-on-year change in January-July’s output is mainly because output losses resulting from unit maintenance are the highest seen in recent years. Meanwhile, utilization rates at a total of 200,000-tonne copper capacity, commissioned by Ningbo Shimao Copper Industry and Shandong Xianghui Copper in March, is only around 50 per cent.
In August, unit maintenance at domestic copper smelters will fall considerably, and based on production schedules at smelters, SMM expects China’s copper cathode output to rise to 661,500 tonnes in August, up 2.56 per cent on a yearly basis, with YTD output through August to reach 5.13 milion tonnes, up 0.22 per cent on a yearly basis.
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