China’s major copper smelters lowered production in June by 3.6% from the previous month due to seasonal maintenance, state-backed research house Antaike said on Monday.
The 22 smelters in Antaike’s production survey churned out 745,700 tonnes of refined copper cathode last month, which was still up 6.7% year-on-year, as producers including Tongling Nonferrous carried out overhauls.
January-June production from the group came in at 4.61 million tonnes, Antaike said, up 12.4% from a coronavirus-impacted first half of 2020.
Although Chinese producers including Jinchuan Group plan maintenance in July, overall cathode output is set to increase to around 780,000 tonnes during the month as smelters cash in on rising treatment charges and sulphuric acid prices, Antaike said.
The rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of covid-19 in some emerging markets has raised concerns that the global economic rebound might be derailed, dampening expectations for metals demand.
A possible monetary policy easing in China did not help sentiment in Shanghai because it was viewed as a sign of weakness in the world’s top metals consumer.
“This created a risk-off tone across markets, with copper the lightning rod for these concerns,” said ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes.
Mining.com(With files from Reuters)