Copper mine production across the world fell by 0.5pc to 16.88mn mt in January-October 2020, compared with 16.94mn mt in the same period of 2019, according to The International Copper Study Group (ICSG). The group noted a deficit of 480,000mt during this period.
In the first 10 months of 2020, mine production in Peru fell by 14.5pc against the same prior-year period due to weather issues, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic. The output from Chile was flat in the first 10 months despite a 2pc increase in H1 2020 production due to lower mined volumes in July-October. Production grew considerably in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as Panama while Indonesia’s mined output grew by 25pc.
Global refined copper production increased by 1.5pc in January-October 2020 to 20.2mn mt, compared with 19.9mn mt in the same period of 2019. Primary output rose by 2.5pc, offset by a 3.5pc decline in production from scrap. Refined output rose in DRC by 5pc and Zambia by 25pc where production recovered from smelter operational issues this year.
Restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic led to India’s copper output declining by 20pc while the US’ production fell by 14pc due to suspensions of operations at Birla Copper and Asarco in the respective countries. Japan’s refined output rose by 5pc.
Global apparent refined usage increased by 2pc to 20.7mn mt in January-October, compared with 20.3mn mt in the same period of 2019. The rise was attributed to increased consumption in China by 14pc, offsetting declines in usage in the EU, US, and Japan.