SHANGHAI, Mar 23 (SMM) – The growth rate of global copper ore output is expected to rise back to 3.3% in 2018, said SMM senior analyst Ye Jianhua. Given copper ore supplies in 2017 and price increases, the supply of copper ore in unlikely to be significantly affected in 2018, even as some 40 salary negotiations would occur at overseas miners this year.
China's demand for overseas ore is on the rise as smelting capacity grows, Ye said at the SMM Copper Aluminium Summit on Friday March 23. In recent years, the decline of copper cencentrate supplies has lowered treatment charges (TCs) set between foreign and Chinese smelters, he added.
As for the copper scrap market, Ye explained that nearly 50% of the domestic demand relies on imports, among which lower-grade copper scrap accounts for 52%. He sees a tight supply in the copper scrap market as imports decline following China’s stricter policies on importing solid wastes, especially for lower-grade copper scrap. He believes that this will, in turn, boost the consumption of copper cathode.
He added that Chinese companies began to import higher-grade scrap material in the fourth quarter in 2017.
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