Cop­per pro­duc­tion over­takes de­mand

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - News -

GLOBAL cop­per pro­duc­tion will out­pace de­mand this year and next as con­sump­tion growth slows, the In­ter­na­tional Cop­per Study Group says. The sur­plus will be 85,000 tonnes this year and 429,000 tonnes in 2009, the Lis­bon-based group says in an e-mailed state­ment this week. Sup­ply fell 37,000 tonnes short of de­mand last year, the ICSG says. The group counts stock­piles re­ported by ex­changes, pro­duc­ers, con­sumers and traders.

A six-year rally in cop­per prices buoyed profit at min­ers in­clud­ing San­ti­ago-based Codelco, the world’s largest pro­ducer of the metal. Min­ing com­pa­nies are seek­ing to ex­pand out­put af­ter prices reached a record this month.

Ap­par­ent cop­per us­age in China, the world’s largest buyer, will ex­pand more slowly than last year’s 36 per cent, the ICSG says. Ap­par­ent us­age is de­rived from do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion, net im­ports or ex­ports and stock­piles re­ported by the Shang­hai Fu­tures Ex­change. ‘‘ China had a high base last year so growth will slow,’’ said Ana Re­belo, the group’s chief statis­ti­cian.

Com­bined with a de­cline in con­sump­tion in the US, world us­age will gain 2 per cent this year to 18.5 mil­lion tonnes, down from growth of 6.4 per cent last year, the ICSG says. Mine pro­duc­tion will rise 6 per cent to 16.4 mil­lion tonnes this year, faster than last year’s 3 per cent. In 2009, out­put will rise 9 per cent to 17.9 mil­lion tonnes.

Sup­ply of re­fined cop­per will ex­pand 2.7 per cent this year to 18.6 mil­lion tonnes, and ad­vance 7 per cent to 19.9 mil­lion tonnes next year, the group said. Bloomberg

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