Global copper in surplus in first quarter of 2017
The latest monthly report of the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) shows there was a surplus of 164,000 tonnes of the metal in the first quarter of 2017, which it attributes mainly to a decline in Chinese demand. The year-ago quarter had seen a small deficit. China accounts for 47% of global copper usage.
Global refined copper production was virtually unchanged in the first quarter, with primary output declining 2%. China’s refined output rose by 7% but declines in Chile offset that increase. Refined copper usage is estimated to have decreased by around 3%, again due to a decline in China. If one adjusts for Chinese bonded stocks, the surplus increases to 309,000 tonnes, said an ICSG release.
The price of copper on the London Metal Exchange is up by 5% in 2017 so far, with the metal recovering from its May lows