Strong growth in secondary copper production

Worldwide: Refined copper production from scrap surged 11% or 69 000 tonnes year on year in the opening two months of 2017 and went a significant way towards balancing the 3% drop in primary production, according to latest data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

‘Increased availability of scrap allowed world secondary refined production to increase, notably in China,’ the organisation notes.

With primary and secondary production reaching 3.095 million tonnes and 662 000 tonnes, respectively, the total output of 3.757 million tonnes trailed the January-February 2016 figure by 25 000 tonnes. On a regional basis, refined output is estimated to have increased by 3% in Asia, 2% in Africa and 1.5% in Europe while tumbling 11% in the Americas and 5% in Oceania.

World apparent usage of refined copper is estimated to have declined by around 3% to 3.608 million tonnes in the first two months of 2017; this implies a market surplus of 149 000 tonnes as against an excess of 44 000 tonnes in the same period last year, according to the ICSG.

A 9.5% decline in China’s apparent demand more than offset the combined 2.5% increase elsewhere. Regionally, usage is estimated to have increased by 1.5% in Europe while declining by 1% in the Americas and 5% in Asia.


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