China will import large volumes of copper concentrates to feed its growing production of refined copper this year, Wang Jin, chief information officer at China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Holding Corp, said at the LME Asia Metals seminar.
The world's largest copper producer will add 1.1 million tonnes of copper refining capacity in 2012,
Copper refining capacity at the year end is expected to be 8.23 million tonnes in China, he said at the LME Asia Metals seminar.
“We predict the imports of concentrate in China will significantly increase in 2012,” he said.
Chinese copper smelting capacity in 2012 will also increase by 650,000 tonnes to 4.72 million tonnes, he said.
Refined copper production is expected to rise over 10% in 2012, the same increase seen in 2011, he said.
But, China’s copper consumption will slow down in 2012, he said.
Further consolidation is expected in the copper industry, where 76% of the total output in China comes from the top ten producers.
By 2015, about 90% of the copper prodcution will be in the hands of the top ten producers, he said.