Global copper mine production dropped by 0.8pc while global refined copper output rose by 1pc in the first seven month of the year compared to the same period in 2019, according to a International Copper Study Group (ICSG) report.
Copper concentrate production fell by 1pc and solvent extraction-eletrowinning was flat during the seven-month period. The overall decline was the result of COVID-19-related lockdowns, which mainly occurred in April and May and caused a 4pc drop in production during those two months.
In Peru, mine production decreased by 18pc in the January to July period, again owing to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other operational setbacks. However, by July, as the lockdown measures eased, the country’s reduction in output narrowed by 2.2pc. Other major copper mine producing countries, like the US, Mexico and Australia, also witnessed significant declines in output during the seven-month period.
Chile’s production declined by only 1.5pc in the January to July period compared to a 2pc decline during the same period in 2019 due to operational constraints, while Indonesia’s production rose by 18pc, according to ICSG.
Primary refined copper production grew by 2.3pc while secondary output declined by 5.2pc in the first seven months of 2020 from the same period in 2019.
Chile’s refined copper output rose by 10pc in the seven-month period, with its electrolytic refined copper production rising by 44pc. Refined copper output in the Democratic Republic of Congo grew by 6pc, and by 9pc in Zambia, as Africa recovered from previous operational issues.
India’s refined copper output fell by 22pc, while the US’s production dropped by 13pc in the first seven months of the year from the same period in 2019. China refined copper output was also negatively affected by the COVID-19 related shutdowns in the country while Japan’s output grew by 4pc.
From a usage standpoint, global refined copper usage was unchanged in the seven-month period compared to the same period in 2019. Excluding China, usage fell by 10pc across the world, with Japan dropping by 15pc, the EU by 11pc, the US by 4.5pc, and Asia by 13pc. However, China’s usage increased by 10p, offsetting some of the declines.