According to preliminary data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), world copper mine production increased by 4.8% over the first five months of 2021 with concentrate production increasing by around 6.5% and solvent extraction-electrowinning declining by about 2%.
ICSG says world mine production started to recover in June 2020 as lockdown measures eased and the industry adapted to stricter health protocols. ‘However, government-imposed restrictions related to Covid-19 and preventative measures implemented by the industry continue to constrain output in a few countries this year.’
The data indicates that world refined copper production increased by about 4% during the first five months of 2021 with primary production (electrolytic and electrowinning) up by 4.3% and secondary production (from scrap) up by 2%. China’s refined production growth is 7.5%.
According to ICSG, apparent refined copper usage globally increased by 4.5% over the first five months of this year and the refined copper balance over the same period indicates an apparent surplus of about 80 000 tons. China’s bonded stocks are thought to have increased by about 50 000 tons