Refined Copper Market Swung into Deficit in 2007
The refined copper market was in a 40,000-tonne deficit in 2007 compared with a surplus of 290,000 tonnes a year earlier, according to the March report by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).
The deficit of some 300,000 tonnes in the first half of last year was mostly offset by a surplus of around 260,000 tonnes in the second half, ICSG figures showed.
Total world refined copper usage increased to 18.19 million tonnes last year, a rise of 6.5% when compared with 2006, while total refined production rose by 4.5% to 18.15 million tonnes from 2006, with China again the biggest contributor to growth. Other major contributors were Chile, India and the USA.
World usage growth was largely driven by China, where apparent consumption grew by 36% as net imports rose by 134% to about 1.4 million tonnes.
Consumption in three other major consuming regions — the USA, the EU-15 and Japan — fell by 3.3%. Usage in the rest of the world fell by 1%, said ICSG.
World mine production last year increased by 3% to 15.5 million tonnes from around 15 million a year before, while concentrate production was up by 2%
Significant technical disruptions to production resulted in limited production growth, largely owing to problems with labour unrest, said ICSG.
Mine production was up by 13% in Africa, 2% in Asia and 6% in Latin America, but down by 2% in Europe, 0.6% in North America, and 2% in Oceania.