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Chinese apparent copper demand declines as domestic production rises

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LONDON (Scrap Register): Global apparent refined copper usage is estimated to have declined by around 3% in the first four months of this year, according to the latest figures release by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

Preliminary data indicates that although world ex-China usage might have grown slightly by around 0.5%, growth was more than offset by a 7% decline in Chinese apparent demand.

Chinese apparent copper demand (excluding changes in unreported stocks) declined by 7% during January to April this year because although refined copper production increased by 6.5%, net imports of refined copper declined by 36%.

Among other major copper using countries, usage increased in India, Japan and Taiwan but declined in the United States and Germany.

On a regional basis, usage is estimated to have declined in all regions: in Africa by 1%, in Asia by 3% (when excluding China, Asia usage increased by 7%), in the Americas by 1% and in Europe by 6%.

Global refined copper balance for the first four months of 2017 indicates a surplus of around 80,000 t (including revisions to data previously presented).

This is mainly due to the decline in Chinese apparent demand (China currently represents 48% of the world copper refined usage).

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