SHANGHAI, May 22 (SMM) – Blind expansion of copper smelting capacity in China should be strictly curbs to facilitate high-quality development of the copper industry, said Yu Dehui, Chinalco’s general manager and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body.
Structural contradictions of China’s copper smelting sector have intensified overcapacity woes, heightened reliance on foreign ore and boosted environmental pressure, Yu Thursday told China Nonferrous Metals News on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress.
China’s refined copper capacity in China reached 12.59 million mt per year in 2019, while investment in the sector grew 40.9%. Production of refined copper for the year was 9.78 million mt, pointing to a capacity utilisation rate of just 77%, according to Yu.
The capacity is expected to expand to 14.22 million mt per year in 2021, widening the glut.
China’s copper concentrate self-sufficiency rate, meanwhile, has fallen to 22.8%, from 43.25% in 2000.
Yu also mentioned sulphuric acid overcapacity woes, which sparked the risks of storage filling up amid the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.