According to the most recently data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), global copper mine production dropped 0.4% during the first nine months of the year (compared with the same period in 2018).
Copper concentrate production was unchanged during the period, while solvent extraction-electrowinning dipped 0.4%.
No. 1 copper producer Chile saw its output fall 0.3% due to “lower copper head grades and some production disruptions that occurred early in the year,” according to the ICSG. Anti-government protests in the country have now continued for two months, first sparked by anger over proposed metro fare hikes before spreading to convey larger-scale grievances.
Indonesia’s output fell 50%, while the combined output of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia declined 3%.
Production in Australia, China, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. increased.
Refined production flat
Meanwhile, refined production through the first nine months of the year was flat compared with last year, the ICSG reported.
Primary production declined 0.4%, while secondary production from scrap increased 1.6%.
Chile’s electrolytic refined output fell 30%, while the country’s total refined production dropped 11%.
Elsewhere, Zambian output fell 35%, while Indian production dropped 22%.
Apparent usage ticks up slightly
Global apparent copper usage increased 0.3% over the first nine months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.
China, the world’s top copper consumer, saw its usage rise 2.8%, despite a 12% decline in copper imports.
Global usage ex-China, however, fell 2%, according to the ICSG.
Copper prices show recovery
Copper prices slumped during the second and third quarters of this year but have showed signs of bouncing back in November and December.
The average LME cash price for November ($5,859.69/mt) increased 2% compared with the October average price ($5,742.89/mt).
As for stock levels, stocks as of the end of November at the LME, SHFE and COMEX totaled 365,092 tons, up 4% compared with stock levels at the end of December 2018.