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Copper looking at deficit

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The global copper market moved into deficit last year, with the International Copper Study Group estimating a seasonally adjusted refined deficit of some 60,000 tonnes in September 2010, the most recent figure available. All signs indicate that deficit conditions will continue through 2011.

Copper ore producers have sought to expand production to meet the improved physical market, which in many cases has made the copper price a good deal higher than the marginal cost of production, which in turn has attracted capital expansion dollars to brownfield and greenfield projects.

Top Copper Producers
(in thousands of tonnes)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. Inc. 3,944.00
Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile 1,955.00
BHP Billiton Ltd. 1,085.70
Xstrata Plc 894
Rio Tinto 696.2
Anglo American Plc 683.4
Antofagasta Plc 508
MMC Norilsk Nickel 500
Grupo Mexico SA de CV 486
KGHM Polksa Miedz SA 400
Kazakhmys Plc 345.9
Teck Resources Ltd. 286
First Quantum Minerals Ltd. 227
Vale SA 163
Lundin Mining Corp./Somincor SA 79



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