China May copper output down m/m, lead production up

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China’s major copper smelters reduced output by 4.34% in May from a month earlier to 765,100 tonnes as several of them carried out maintenance, state-backed research house Antaike said on Thursday.

Output of copper cathode last month from the 22 companies surveyed by Antaike was up 10.45% year-on-year, Antaike said in a note.

In the first five months of 2021, the smelters produced 3.84 million tonnes of cathode, up 12.83% from the same period a year earlier.

Antaike expects June output to remain flat on May at around 770,000 tonnes amid further overhauls.

Meanwhile, China’s refined lead output in May increased by 12,000 tonnes from the prior month to 410,000 tonnes, Antaike said in a separate note.

Refined lead output at major producers in January-May rose 12.3% year-on-year to 1.93 million tonnes, it added.

The research house sees lead output slipping below 400,000 tonnes in June amid tight supply of raw materials and environmental inspections.

(By Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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