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  • Market Speaks: World Refined Copper Production Rises 1.5% During First Ten Months Of 2020 Says ICSG
  • January 22,2021  16:20
  • The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) stated in a monthly update that world copper mine production fell by around 0.5% in the first ten months of 2020, with concentrate production remaining essentially unchanged and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) declining by about 2%: World mine production declined by 3.5% in April-May as these two months were the most affected by the COVID-19 related global lockdown that resulted in temporary mine shutdowns/reduced production levels. However, world mine production started to recover in May as lockdown measures eased and the copper industry adapted to the strict health protocols. In Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine producing country, output was up by 2.5% in 1st half of 2020, recovering from production constraints in early 2019 (output had declined by 2.5% in 1st half 2019). However, with a 3% decline over July-October 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, accumulated output in the first 10 months of 2020 remained essentially unchanged. Preliminary data indicates that world refined copper production increased by 1.5% during the first ten months of 2020 with primary production (electrolytic and electrowinning) up by 2.5% and secondary production (from scrap) down by 3.5%.

    Preliminary data indicates that world apparent refined copper usage increased by 2% over the first ten months of 2020. The COVID-19 related global lockdown has had a notable negative impact on the world economy and subsequently on key copper end-use sectors in all regions. World ex-China refined copper usage was significantly impacted and is estimated to have declined by about 10%. Among the biggest copper using regions, refined usage fell by 17% in Japan, 12% in the EU, 5% in the United States and by about 12% in Asia (Ex-China). Preliminary world refined copper balance in the first ten months of 2020 indicates an apparent deficit of about 480,000 t due to a strong Chinese apparent usage.

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