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Copper demand is rising: Glencore Xstrata

Keywords: Tags  Copper, copper demand, copper inventories, Glencore Xstrata, Telis Mistakidis

LONDON — Copper stocks on major metal exchanges are down, indicating strong demand, Glencore Xstrata Plc head of copper Telis Mistakidis said during the company’s first-half earnings conference call.

London Metal Exchange copper inventories are about the same as they were at the beginning of the year, he said, but they have fallen markedly on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and Comex.

"In Shanghai, there was about 1 million tonnes of copper sitting in bonded warehouses—that’s gone down to 300,000 tonnes," Mistakidis said. "Consumption is also better than people give it credit for because of the scale of people consuming today."

China and India are now major consumers, which was not the case when mines such as Escondida in Chile were coming on-stream in the 1980s, he said.

"We are seeing signs of growth and we think the market has been a lot better than people thought," Mistakidis said. "As we move into the second half, we will see improvement."

Production at the Mutanda solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still on target to hit 200,000 tonnes on an annualized basis by the end of this year, he said, while production at the Katanga operations will hit 270,000 tonnes by the end of next year. There also is potential to expand by a further 80,000 tonnes at Mutanda through concentrate production.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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