Smaller global copper deficit seen in December – ICSG – by Henry Lazenby ( – March 21, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – The International Copper Study Group said Monday the global copper market deficit had fallen back to about 50 000 t in December, following a deficit of about 90 000 t in November.

According to the group’s latest copper bulletin, world mine output is estimated to have increased by around 5%, or one-million tonnes, with concentrate output increasing by 7% and solvent extraction-electrowinning declining by 2%.

The increase in world mine output in 2016 was mainly attributable to a 38% (650 000 t) rise in Peruvian concentrate output that benefitted from new and expanded capacity brought on stream in the last two years, and a recovery in production levels in Canada, Indonesia and the US, and expanded capacity in Mexico.

However overall growth was partially offset by a 3.8% (220 000 t) decline in production in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine producer, and a 4.5% decline in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where output is being constrained by temporary production cuts.

World refined production is estimated to have increased by about 2.5% (530 000 t) in 2016, with primary production (electrolytic and electrowinning) increasing by 3% and secondary production (from scrap) declining by 2%.

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