copper producer Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile
(Codelco) expects global copper concentrate production to
increase 6 percent from 2013 to 2017, with smelting capacity
expected to rise 16 percent in the same period, Rodrigo Toro,
the companys senior vice president of sales, said at
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletins
copper concentrate conference in London.
In the United States,
concentrate output will rise 15 percent to 1.9 million tonnes
in 2017, from 1.6 million tonnes in 2013, Toro said.
output in Asia without China is expected to increase 3 percent
to 3.1 million tonnes by 2017, from 3 million tonnes in 2013.
Chinas output is expected to rise 4 percent to 1.7
million tonnes from 1.6 million tonnes.
States) smelting capacity for 2013 is 1.375 million
tonnes, making North America balanced in terms of copper
concentrates," Toro said.
For 2017, smelting
capacity is not expected to change in North America, South
America and Europe.
"The increases in
(smelting capacities) will be 15 percent in Africa; 41 percent
in China and 10 percent in Asia without China (by 2017)," he
China will keep
drawing in terms of smelting and refining of copper
concentrate, he said, adding that it is already the largest
market but there will be 3 million tonnes more in China (in
terms of smelting capacity by 2017).
Toro expects average
utilization rates at smelters to remain at 87 percent for the
next 6 to 7 years, depicting a balanced market.
A utilization rate
above 86 to 87 percent means an oversupply of concentrate in
the market whereas a utilization rate below 85 percent usually
means a deficit, he said.