China’s major copper smelters boost July output

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Refined copper cathode production by major Chinese smelters increased by 5.3% in July from a month earlier to 721,000 tonnes, according to a survey of 22 producers by Antaike.

The total was also up 9.9% year-on-year and came amid minor smelter maintenance work last month, which had little impact on production, the research house says.

The producers surveyed accounted for more than 90% of production last year in China, the world’s top copper consumer, says Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.

With most major smelters not planning maintenance in August, their combined output is expected to rise again this month to about 730,000 tonnes, Antaike says.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics is due to report the official July refined copper production number this week; June output was the highest since December.

(By Tom Daly; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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