SINGAPORE MMG Ltd., majority owned by China Minmetals Corp., expects the copper market to remain in surplus in 2013, with China driving growth in the long term.
"Copper prices declined in the first half but we saw minimal price reaction to disruption in supply in Indonesia and North America," chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore said during a conference call.
"Long-term demand growth will be helped by Chinas growth and industrialization," he said, noting that Chinas economy is growing at a rate of 7 to 7.5 percent per year.
"Demand hasnt gone away. We are getting a good price for copper cathode and premiums have been strong," he said.
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletins copper cathode premiums were in a range of $160 to $190 per tonne c.i.f. Shanghai Aug. 29, down from highs of $205 to $220 earlier in August.
Melbourne, Australia-based MMG expects total global refined copper consumption to grow by 15 percent from 2012 to 2015, led by a 21-percent increase in Chinas refined copper consumption.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.