SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): Chinese refined copper production expected to reach 8 million tons during next year, with imports of 3.55 million tons and 400,000 tons of exports. Copper consumption will be 11.88 million tons, up 2.55%, said an SMM analyst at the 2016 SMM Summit.
China’s copper consumption will increase 2.8% in 2016, but down to 2.6% in 2017, SMM foresees. Growth will bounce back to 3.2% in 2018.
SMM predicts copper prices at London Metal Exchange likely to trade between $4,600-6,470 per ton in 2017 and SHFE copper will fluctuate in the 36,800-51,760 yuan per ton range.
Growth rate of refined copper output will decrease slightly in 2017 due to fewer refined copper projects in 2016, SMM predicts based on a survey which covers 90% of Chinese copper smelters. But, growth rate will rebound in 2018 as capacities coming on stream in 2017 step up production.
SMM statistics show only three new copper smelters put capacity into production in 2016. About 1 million tons of refined copper capacity will be brought online in 2017, mainly in the latter half of the year, which will affect growth of refined copper output in 2018.
China’s refined copper supply will increase 4.9% in 2016, with output of 7.76 million tons, SMM said. Growth in refined copper supply will slow to 3.1% in 2017, and output is expected to be 8 million tons. In 2018, the growth will rebound to 3.8% and output will be about 8.30 million tons.