Chilean copper export shifted to China
Updated: 2011-03-24 16:54
By Qiang Xiaoji (chinadaily.com.cn)
Chile, the world's largest copper producer, has to sell its copper concentrate to China despite plans to sell it to Japan, China Business News reported Thursday.
Three Japanese copper producers – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Furukawa Electric and Dowa Holdings Co – announced they had to shut down their production because of the devastating earthquake, the report said.
Like China, Japan is also a major importer of Chile's copper. Japan's copper production in 2010 was approximately 1.4 million tons, which accounts for less than 10 percent of the world's total production.
Increasing copper concentrate supply will boost China's stocks and, in the short term, supply may exceed demand, according to a senior management representative of Jiangxi Copper Co. He also said he expects the price of copper concentrate to decline.
Last year, China's refined copper production totaled 4.57 million tons, which is an increase of 11.3 percent from a year ago. Refined copper production capacity continued to grow on increasing demand. Copper smelting's added capacity hit 230,000 tons, the added capacity of copper refining reached 590,000 tons. Total production capacity of copper smelting and copper refining hit 3.47 million tons and 5.88 million tons respectively. That satisfied the increasing demand for refined copper, the report said.
Refined copper produced in China still cannot satisfy the strong demand, the report said. In 2010, China's refined copper imports hit 2.92 million tons, down 8.3 percent year-on-year. This is the country's second highest amount in history, the newspaper reported..
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