SHANGHAI, Aug. 9 (SMM) - China’s copper cathode output was 633,000 tonnes in July 2017, down 3.21% MoM and 4.67% YoY, according to SMM data. Output in the first seven months of the year totaled 4.47 million tonnnes, down 0.12% YoY.
Production suspension at Baoding Jianchang Copper and unit maintenance at Baiyin Nonferrous Group affected more than 10,000 tonnes of copper output, the main factor behind higher-than-expected output decline in July. Copper smelters, including Zijin Copper, Jinchuan Copper (headquarters), Yunnan Copper and Zhongtiaoshan Northern Copper, which have launched unit maintenance in July, will resume output to normal level in August. Moreover, environmental checks and supply shortage of blister copper and copper scrap restricted output at some small and medium copper smelters in July.
China’s copper cathode output staged small changes in January-July 2017 on a yearly basis as unit maintenance led to largest output cut in recent year. Meanwhile, Ningbo Shimao Copper and Shandong Xianghui Copper, putting 200,000 tonnes of copper cathode capacity into operation in March, only reach half of capacity utilization at present.
Impact from unit maintenance will decrease sharply in August. SMM expects China’s copper cathode output to grow 2.56% YoY to 661,500 tonnes in August, and output in the first eight months of the year will rise 0.22% YoY to 5.13 million tonnes.
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