Big Copper Surpluses Seen for 2009 and 2010 - ICSG


"The International Copper Study Group predicts a copper surplus of at least 345,000 tons in 2009 growing to around 400,000 tons in 2010."

The world copper market is expected to see a surplus of at least 345,000 tons in 2009, growing to around 400,000 tons in 2010, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in a report on Tuesday.

The Lisbon-based group expects world mine production to rise to 16 million tons in 2009, up 3.8% from 2008, and growing to 17.2 million tons in 2010.

Output of refined copper in 2009 is expected to slow to 17.6 million tons, down about 700,000 tons or 3.7%, from 2008 levels.

A significant portion of the decline in output, about 200,000 tons, is attributed to reduced secondary production stemming from a global shortage of copper scrap, it added.

In 2010, ICSG expects capacity utilization to improve and refined copper production to grow by 6.7% to 18.8 million tons, compared with that of 2009.

"Electrolytic refinery production increases in Asia and SX-EW (Solvent extraction-electrowinning) production growth in Africa and South America are expected to account for most of the growth," the group said.

"A shortage of concentrates in 2009 and 2010 is expected to restrain the growth of refined production," it added.

ICSG expects world refined usage to decline by a minimum of 4.3% in 2009.

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