China apparent Copper usage rises in Jan-Feb, 46% of global use : ICSG
LONDON (Scrap Monster): China’s apparent copper usage grew by 29% year-on-year in the first two months of this year due to a 95% increase in Chinese net imports of refined copper, said the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) in its May 2012 Copper Bulletin.
According to ICSG, global apparent usage of copper grew by 6% year-on-year in the first two months of 2012, principally owing to strong growth in Chinese apparent usage (that represented 43% of world usage over this period) as usage in the remaining regions declined by an aggregated 6.5%. However, s comparative net imports levels in the first 2 months of 2011 were weak and anecdotal evidence suggests that the high import level this year was accompanied by increased inventories held in bonded warehouses.
Usage in the other three leading consuming countries, the EU, Japan and the United States, declined by 12% and 9% and increased by 3.6%, respectively.
ICSG continued that, the refined copper market balance for February 2012 showed a production deficit of 81,000 metric tonnes (t). When making seasonal adjustments for world refined production and usage, February showed a production deficit of 100,000 t.
The apparent refined copper balance for the first 2 months of 2012, including revisions to data previously presented, indicates a production deficit of 110,000 t (a seasonally adjusted deficit of 193,000 t). This compares with a production deficit of 46,000 t (a seasonally adjusted deficit of about 108,000 t) in the same period of 2011.
In the first two months of 2012, world mine production increased by 3.8% compared with production in the same period of 2011. Concentrate production increased by 1.9% while solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) was up by 11%. Increases in Chile (6.6%) China (24%), Mexico (41%) and the United States (8.4%) more than offset declines in Indonesia (56%) and Peru (3%).
On a regional basis, production rose by 3.5% in Africa, 8% in Oceania, 2.7% in Europe and 6% in the Americas, but declined by 3% in Asia. The average world mine capacity utilization rate for the first two months of 2012 increased to 77.3 % from 76.4% in the same period of 2011.
World refined production increased by 4% in the first two months of 2012 compared with refined production in the same period of 2011: primary production was up by 5% (mainly due to an increase of 12% in electrowon production) and secondary production (from scrap) was down by 1%. The main contributors to growth were China (+9%), and Africa (+13%), although smaller growth rates were also seen in Chile (+2.8%) and in the United States (+4%).
On a regional basis, refined production increased in all regions: Africa (13%), Americas (4.7%), Asia (3.7%), Europe (1.7%) and Oceania (6%). The average world refinery capacity utilization rate for the first two months of 2012 remained practically unchanged at around 78.5% when compared to the same period of 2011.
The average LME cash price for April 2012 was US$8,259.63 per tonne, down from the March average of US$8,457.05 per tonne. The 2012 high and low copper prices through the end of April were US$8,658 and US$7,471 per tonne, respectively, and the average was US$8,298.52 per tonne.
As of the end of April, copper stocks held at the major metal exchanges (LME, COMEX, SHFE) totalled 515,262 t, a decline of 29,349 t from stocks held at the end of December 2011 and a decline of 39,594 t from stock levels at the end of March 2012. Compared to the March levels, stocks were down at all three exchanges.
Copyright © ScrapMonster 2009-2013. All rights reserved