SHANGHAI, May 10 (SMM)—An SMM survey showed that China produced 878,100 mt of copper cathode in April, rising 2.05% from March and 7.29% from a year ago.
Although some copper smelters started maintenance in April, high refining charges (RCs) for domestic blister copper prompted some smelters to purchase large amounts of blister copper and copper anode to produce copper cathode, and some smelters stepped up production, which led to the slight rise in copper cathode output in April. Copper concentrate imports registered a new high in March, and sulphuric acid prices moved higher amid strong demand, which boosted profits of smelters and encouraged them to keep high operating rates which rose 7.29% year on year.
According to smelters’ production schedules, SMM expects China’s copper cathode output to shrink 3.85% on the month and 1.02% on the year to 844,300 mt in May. For the first five months of 2021, output is likely to total 4.21 million mt, up 6.2% from the same period last year.