Copper Scrap Imports in India Drop, Recession Could Affect Prices

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Despite one of India’s largest copper smelters going offline in 2013, imports of copper and copper articles by Indian companies had fallen in April this year by 5.16 percent as compared to the previous month, according to data provided by one of India’s prominent research agencies, InfodriveIndia.com

For April 2013, the firm said copper and copper articles imports had dropped to US$ 220.76 million. InfodriveIndia said it had collated data from shipping documents filed with Indian Customs at various ports of entry over land, sea and air.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe chief research associate of InfodriveIndia.com said imports of copper waste and scrap had fallen on a month-on-month basis by -0.58 percent. The total value of imports in this segment in April was $73.84 million and the growth rate registered was -0.58 percent.

The major destination countries were the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Germany, United Kingdom and Jordan.

Copper Bar, Wire Imports Grow

But in other areas, such as copper bars and rods as well as copper wire, there had been positive growth. Imports of copper bars and rods had grown month-on-month by 3.6 percent, the report said. The major destination countries were Russia, the UAE, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. Imports of copper wire also had grown month-on-month by 11.62 percent.

The report said the total value of imports in April 2013 was US $34.08 million as compared to March 2013. Imports of copper tubes and pipes had grown on a month-on-month basis by 2.47 percent.

Global Slowdown Hits Copper Prices

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThough India is in the top 20 copper producers of the world, the sector has not been doing so well lately, because of the slowdown in domestic and international economies. Even this year, copper production was expected to exceed demand for the red metal, and could adversely affect copper prices.

On the import front, though, India’s cable makers had faced a tense situation for a while because of the temporary shutting down of one of India’s largest copper smelters in the southern state of Tamil Nadu run by Sterlite. Because of the copper smelter shutdown, there could have been a severe shortage of copper and potential manufacturing delays, forcing consumers to import copper.

But as MetalMiner reported recently, that situation has been averted after the National Green Tribunal ruled allowing the smelter’s re-opening last week.

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Sohrab Darabshaw contributes an Indian perspective to MetalMiner.

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