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China's copper, zinc output jumps to 3 year high on stronger prices

Metal News - Published on Thu, 21 Dec 2017

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Mining com reported that China's refined copper production in November jumped nearly 10% from the same time last year to 786,000 tonnes, the highest rate in at least three years data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday as smelters make the most of higher copper prices.

For the January to November period this year production is up 6.8% and 2017 should comfortably outpace last year's total of 8.44m tonnes of refined copper production.

China's smelters working at capacity helps to explain the decline in imports of refined metal and still growing concentrate imports.

Shipments of copper concentrate in October increased slightly from last year to total 1.78 million tonnes in November, a new monthly record and up nearly 30% from October's disappointing figure. Year to date Chinese concentrate imports are up moderately from last year's record 17 million tonnes. Refined copper imports are trending down with recently released data showing cargoes are down some 5% over the first 11 months of 2017 to 4.24 million tonnes compared to the same period in 2016. Full year imports in 2016 hit a record 4.94 million tonnes.

Chinese zinc production also lept, totaling 603,000 tonnes in November up 7.5% from the same month last year. However year to date zinc output is down 1.3% to 5.65 million tonnes. Lead production also rise sharply to 424,000 tonnes for the month. For the first 11 months of the year, lead output is up 4.9% compared to 2016 to 4.52 million tonnes.

In brisk trading on Monday in New York Comex copper enjoyed its ninth straight session of gains touching a three-week high of USD 3.1475 a pound (USD 6,940 per tonne). Copper is up nearly 25% in 2017 as it continues to recover from six-year lows struck early last year. Zinc prices have followed a 70% surge in 2016 with a nearly 25% gain this to comfortably above USD 3,000 a tonne. Lead is up 26% year to date.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 21 Dec 2017
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