The supply of refined copper in October exceeded demand by around 132,000 tons, according to preliminary data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG). For the first ten months of 2009, the market had a production surplus of about 78,000 tons, compared with a deficit of about 58,000 tons in the first ten months of 2008, the industry group said on Wednesday.
In the January to October 2009 period, world usage is estimated to have decreased by 1% compared with that in the same period of 2008. Chinese apparent usage, which accounted for 40% of world usage over this period, grew by 1.8-million tons (43%) and nearly offset an 18% decline in the rest of the world.
World mine production grew by 1.9% in the first 10 months of 2009 compared with the same period of 2008. Concentrate production grew by 0.5%, while solvent extraction-electrowinning was up by 7.3%.
Mine production capacity utilization fell to 79.7% compared with 81.7% in the same period of 2008. Primary production increased by 0.3% while secondary production (from scrap) decreased by 2%. Refined production capacity utilization fell to 77.8% compared with an average rate of 80.9% in the same period of 2008.