SHANGHAI, Aug 9 (SMM) - China produced 840,000 mt of copper cathode in July, down 2.5% on the month and up 1.1% on the year.
Overall, domestic smelters were still under maintenance in July. The output of Jinchuan, Nanguo and Chifeng Jintong Copper was significantly affected by the maintenance. However, the decline in copper cathode output was mainly caused by the additional technical upgrade and the tight supply of blister copper. The supply of copper concentrate was relatively loose, and the spot TCs remained at 70 mark. With the increase of some port inventories, TCs picked up. Due to the rapid decline in overseas sulphur prices, the domestic sulphuric acid prices fell by nearly 50% in July. However, the profits of smelters were still relatively considerable. At the same time, the tight supply of blister copper still greatly affected the production of smelters. The domestic blister copper supply was tight and will remain tight in the short term mainly due to the rapid decline in copper prices and the shortage of scrap. In terms of imports, as LCS took a two-month maintenance since early July, the output fell by about 20,000 mt. In addition, the output was affected as CCS was overhauled for 10 days due to the leak problem and the output of Kansanshi was unstable.
According to the production schedule in August, except for the short-term extension of the maintenance plan and the technical renovation of a few smelters, most smelters have resumed the production. With the commissioning of the headquarters of Fuye, the output is expected to reach 900,000 mt. However, market should pay attention to the impact of tight blister copper supply on the output. SMM expects that the domestic copper cathode output in August will stand at 892,100 mt, up 6.2% on the month and 8.9% on the year.