NEW YORK The global copper market showed a 50,000-tonne
surplus in April due to weak apparent refined demand in major
consuming regions, according to a report from the International
Copper Study Group (ICSG).
Refined copper production totaled almost 1.78 million tonnes in
April compared with global usage of almost 1.73 million tonnes,
according to the ICSG data.
For the first four months of 2013, the market was in a 266,000
tonne surplus as world mine production increased by almost 9
percent compared with production in the 2012 period
mainly owing to a recovery in production levels from
constrained output in early 2012, according to the ICSG.
Meanwhile copper usage decreased by 4 percent compared with the
same 2012 period, the ICSG report said.
Chinese apparent demand declined by 7 percent in the first four
months of the year owing to a 45 percent decline in net imports
of refined copper, the ICSG said.
World refined copper production increased 6 percent year over
year in the first four month, with increased output in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (40 percent), Zambia (21 percent)
and China (14 percent). Production declined by 6 percent in
Chile, the worlds largest refined copper producer.
Second quarter production results from major
producers have indicated output strength at key copper
mines, Barclays Capital analysts said in a July 19
"So far, corporate results indicate that production strength at
key copper mines continued in (the second quarter), with
guidance suggesting mounting upside risk to (second
half) output.," the analysts said in the report.
Production results from Anglo American Plc., BHP Billiton Plc.
and Rio Tinto Plc. were cited as examples of
very strong (year- over- year) production growth and
positive guidance by the analysts.
Anglo Americans copper production grew 14 percent year
over year in the second quarter (
amm.com., July 19
), BHP Billiton saw a 7- percent
growth in copper production (
amm.com, July 17
), and Rio Tinto produced 10
percent more copper year over year (
Rio Tinto in particular improved because of a quicker
recovery than expected at Kennecott after the wall slide
in April, Barclays said.
The production results to date "suggest confidence and even
upside risks" to Barclays forecast of 3.1 percent growth in the
global copper mine output in 2013 to 17.2 million tonnes, the
analysts said. Barclays estimates copper production in the
second half of 2013 of 8.74 million tonnes.