India’s copper cathode imports increased by 69.18pc to 88,602mt from Jan-Sept 2019, up from 52,370mt in the same period, the previous year.
India’s refined copper imports increased to 98,280mt in the first nine months of 2019, up by 61.26pc as compared to 60,945mt in the same period prior year.
Following the closure of Vedanta’s Tuticorin copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu in May 2019, India’s copper cathode imports have increased by 36.33pc to 44,226mt for June-Sept 2019, as compared to 32,439mt in the same period for 2018.
In the same month, refined copper imports went up by 33.11pc to 47,481mt from 35,669mt, the prior year.
In August 2019 alone, copper cathode imports went up by 128.21pc to 22,650mt from 9,925mt in Aug 2018. The refined copper imports jumped by 111.72pc to 23,563mt from 11,129mt, year prior.
The Tuticorin plant closure has turned India into a net importer of copper cathodes, from being a net exporter for the past 18 years.
According to the Ministry of Mines, India’s domestic copper production is down by 46.10pc at 457,000mt in 2019, from 848,000mt in 2018.