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Copper Production would Increase Slightly in 2011

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) predicts that copper production would increase slightly in 2011. Disaster in Japan, financial policy and political disturbance causes copper production to not increase significantly. In addition, the price remains flat, not down or up significantly. From September 2011 to January 2012, the price of copper at London Metal Exchange (LME) ranges from US$8,813.75 to 8,837.00 per ton.

In a report July 2011, ICSG disclosed that the market of smooth copper up to April 2011, reflected a production deficit up to 36,000 metric ton even though the smooth and ready-to-use copper, based on seasonal calculation, showed a surplus of 46,000 metric tons.

In the first four months of 2011, according to data presented by ICSG, copper consumption grew by 1.2% from the same period last year when the consumption decreased by seven percent because consumption in the world’s largest copper consumer, China, decreased by 40%.

Even though China recorded a decrease in demand for smooth copper, other countries booked an increase. The demand rose by 89% in Russia, 2.2% in European Union and 2.2% in the United States.

The United States and European Union continue to recover following the recession even though the growth is slower than last year. Regionally, demand for copper grew by five percent in Africa, 3.7% in America, 9.3% in Europe and 38% in Oceania but decreased by 2.8% in Asia.

ICSG also reported that copper production increased by two percent in the first four months of 2011 from the same period last year. The production of concentrates also rose by three percent, while the output of Solution Extraction-Electrowinning (SX-EW) decreased by 1.5%.

The data reflects an increase in production, compared to last year, because of operational obstacles, thus forcing Australia and Mexico to reduce their production. The production decrease was also visible in major copper producers, such as Chile, down by 1.4%, the United States (4.5%), Indonesia (18%) and Republic of Congo (16%).