SHANGHAI, China Global
copper mine output will increase next year by more than the
"mild" 6.4 percent forecast by the International Copper Study
Group (ICSG), according to a top executive from Chinas
largest copper smelter.
Copper contained in concentrate
output will increase by about 1.3 million tonnes in 2013, Wu
Yuneng, Jiangxi Coppers deputy general manager, said in
The company reached this
estimate after talking to all global miners in London during
the London Metal Exchanges LME week in October, he
ICSG in October forecast mine
output would increase by 1.05 million tonnes to 17.53 million
tonnes next year, Wu told delegates at AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletins 8th Asia Copper
Conference. The group also predicted a 458,000-tonne surplus in
global refined copper market during the first half of next
Wu said he expects Chinas
copper smelting capacity to increase by 400,000 tonnes per year
to around 5.2 million tonnes in 2013. However, as Chinas
environmental assessments are becoming more stringent, it is
becoming harder for new capacities to get through, he
Chinese smelters, who rely on
imported concentrate to meet 70 to 80 percent of their needs,
are being pressured by low profit margins.
"Profit distributions are unequal along the industry chain,
with miners grabbing too big a share," Wu said. "Such a status
quo is unhealthy for the copper industry."
A version of this article was first published by AMM
sister publication Metal Bulletin.