China’s refined copper production rose 1.6% MoM in July, increasing for the third straight month as smelters expanded capacity. Strong output in the world’s top refined copper producer and consumer could mean end users may cut their demand for imports.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that refined copper production stood at 633,518 tonnes in July versus 623,428 tonnes in June.
The July output was up 16.5% from a year ago. In the first seven months of 2014, production increased 9.8% from the same period last year to 4.25 million tonnes.
Mr Song Xiaolang Shenzhen based analyst at Jinrui Futures said that “More new smelting capacity is set to start production in the second half of the year. About 600,000 tonnes of smelting capacity was likely to come onstream between July and December after less than 100,000 tonnes had started in the H1 of the year.
Mr Song said that “Strong treatment and refining charges for imports of raw material copper concentrates also have been encouraging Chinese smelters to boost refined metal production.”
He said that TC and RCs are paid to Chinese smelters from foreign sellers to convert concentrates into refined copper and deducted from the smelters’ buying prices. Spot clean, standard copper concentrate traded at TC and RCs of about USD 110 per tonne and 11 cents per pound this week, compared to about USD 90 and 9 cents in late June.
He added that TC and RCs usually rise when copper concentrate markets are well supplied. Refined copper output may rise further in August although two medium scale smelters in the north eastern region of Inner Mongolia were conducting maintenance currently.
Source – Reuters