Copper production deficit fuelled by 29 per cent increase in Chinese demand

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
3 September 2014

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3 September 2014 | Will Green

Demand for copper worldwide in the first five months of the year is estimated to have increased by 15.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2013.

According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) the increase has been driven by China, where apparent demand has increased by 29 per cent (995,000 tonnes), compared with an 18 per cent rise in the EU and a global average increase, excluding China, of 6 per cent.

The ICSG said there was a seasonally-adjusted production deficit of 450,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2014, compared to a surplus of 277,000 tonnes in the same period in 2013.

World refined production is estimated to have increased by 7 per cent over the same period, with China the main contributor, followed by India, Democratic Republic of Congo, the US and Japan. Output in Chile, the world’s second biggest refined producer, declined by 4 per cent.

The ICSG said the average cash price for copper in July 2014 was $7,104.50 (£4,317.69) per tonne, up on $6,806.10 (£4,136.49) in June. On 2 September it was trading at $6,965 (£4,233.06) per tonne.

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