Base Metals Preview: World Copper Markets In Surplus of 110000 tonnes in First Two Months As per ICSG

International Copper Study Group (ICSG) stated that World mine production is estimated to have increased by around 4.8% in the first two months of 2018, Production in Chile, the worlds biggest copper mine producing country, increased by 13.5% mainly because production in February 2017 was constrained by a strike at Escondida (world biggest copper mine).

Indonesian output increased by 40% because comparative out put in 2017 was negatively affected by a temporary ban on concentrate exports that started in January and ended in April. A 10% increase in SX-EW production in the Democratic Repu blic of Congo (DRC) and a 16% rise in Zambian mine output due to the restart of temporary closed/reduced capacity.

World refined production is estimated to have increased by about 3.3% in the first two months of 2018 with primary production (electrolytic and electrowinning) rising by 3% and secondary production (from scrap) increasing by 4.5%. Production in Chile was up by 5.2% supported by a 7% increase in electrowinning (SX-EW) production mainly because production in February 2017 was constrained by the strike at Escondida referred to previously.

Production in Indonesia and Japan was also substantially higher recovering from constrained output last year that was due to a strike and a maintenance shutdown. World apparent refined usage is estimated to have increased by about 3.9% in the first two months of 2018. China was the biggest contributor to growth with apparent usage (excluding changes in unreported stocks) increasing by around 9.2%, driven by an 8% increase in net refined copper imports and 3.5% increase in refined production. Preliminary data indicates that world ex-China usage declined by 1%.

Among other major copper using countries, us age increased in India and the EU but declined in Japan, the United States and South Korea. World refined copper balance for the first two months of 2018 indicates a surplus of about 110,000 t.