SMM6, 10 May-SMM China's electrolytic copper production in May 2019 was 633500 tons, down 10.33 percent from the previous month and 15.23 percent from the same period last year. From January to May, the cumulative output was 3.5469 million tons, down 1.57 percent from the same period last year. The output in May was lower than expected, mainly due to the sudden failure of the Chifeng Jinfeng acid system and the local security inspection of Wuxin in Xinjiang, and the copper industry in eastern Shandong was damaged by the joint guarantee incident.
The increase in maintenance and the release of new expansion capacity are the main reasons for limiting production growth this year. According to SMM statistics, the output affected by maintenance from January to May is close to 192000 tons for the whole of last year. Up to now, the capacity utilization rate of Chinalco Ningde is less than 80%. The refeeding time of Guangxi Nanguo Copper Industry has been moved back to late June, and the Chifeng Jinfeng Phase I project will not be officially fed until around 18 May. The whole new expansion project has been put into production and the time to reach production has shifted backward. The reclaimed copper smelter in operation has also experienced a decline in capacity utilization because of the narrowing of the price difference between scrap copper and refined copper.
In June, the output of copper industry in eastern Shandong is still difficult to recover, Zhongyuan gold smelter, Qingyuanjiang copper, rich metallurgy group, purple gold copper and other smelters have maintenance arrangements; In addition, some smelters said that due to the shortage of scrap copper and copper concentrate, due consideration will be given to extending maintenance time and reducing production. According to production schedules, production will return to 704900 tons in June due to the end of centralized maintenance in May, still down 2.43 per cent from the same period last year, and 4.2518 million tons in the first half of 2019, a cumulative decrease of 1.72 per cent.
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