China’s main copper smelters increased production in April by 0.85% from the previous month, state backed research house Antaike said on Tuesday, while zinc output also rose and lead production fell from March.
Copper cathode output from the 22 companies surveyed totaled 799,500 tonnes in a month that saw virtually no smelter maintenance, Antaike said in a note; the total was up 12.85% from a coronavirus-affected April 2020.
Overhauls at Tongling Nonferrous, Yunnan Copper and Jinchuan Group as well as a smelter plan to cut concentrate purchases in 2021 will see May output fall to about 760,000 tonnes, Antaike said.
Zinc and zinc alloy output from 51 Chinese smelters in April was at 438,000 tonnes, up 3.7% year-on-year and 6.4% month-on-month on a daily basis, Antaike said separately; it envisages a slight increase in May to 440,000 tonnes.
Lead production from major smelters in April was up 1.3% year-on-year, but down 22,000 tonnes from March, at 391,000 tonnes, said Antaike, which sees tight lead concentrate supply limiting May output to around 400,000 tonnes.
(By Tom Daly; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)