China Plans to Expand Copper Smelting Capacity even with Price Slump
China will be beefing up its copper smelter capacity even with the copper prices slumping in a six year low as top metals consumers started to reduce its reliance on imported refined metal. China is also keeping up investment in their over seas copper mines in hopes to secure supply of concentrated copper which is an intermediate raw material that is used in the smelters. Copper prices in the London Metal Exchange slid by a fifth this year cue to concerns on the demand in China.
China tripled its smelting capacity since 2007 up to 6 million tons due to commission another 900,000 tons of copper smelting capacity before 2017. According to a analyst, China will continue to depended on imported concentrate as China imports of copper concentrates climbed about 17 percent in 2014 and is forecasted to increase another 7 percent this year,
This will be the first year since 2006 that the Chinese imports of copper concentrates may exceed that of cathode metal, these trend will continue ti increase due to its reliance on South America as Chinese concentrate imports from Peru and Chile has more than doubled in 2012. This means that Chine needs to boosts its concentrate imports as domestic mine output is declining.