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ASIAN SMELTERS BUY MORE CHILEAN COPPER CONCENTRATE IN Q1 AMIDST CODELCO SHUTDOWNS
Release time:2019-05-10Browse times:76

As per the government data, Asian smelters have absorbed all of a severe hike in shipments of Chilean copper concentrate in 2019 that was partly generated by shutdowns at state-owned smelters in the South American country.


China, Japan and South Korea hoovered up almost 80% of Chile's copper concentrate exports during the first quarter of the year, up from less than two-thirds in the same period in 2018, according to figures published by the Chilean Copper Commission.


Chile's concentrate exports rose 28.7% YoY in the period to 906,300 MT, with state-owned miner Codelco selling more unrefined copper as it completed up upgrade work on its Chuquicamata and Potrerillos smelters.


Shipments to China arise 80.9% to 481,600 MT up from less than 38% in the year-ago period.


Codelco stop operations at the two smelters in December in order to bring them in line with tighter emissions standards that took effect in 2018.


The world's largest producer of copper, only resumes both plants in the end of April after the work took longer than expected.


Meanwhile, Chilean exports of refined copper drop 9.0% YoY in Q1 to 526,500 MT.


The drop reflects a sharp fall in cathode production in Q1 after torrential rain halted work at several copper mines in early February as well as the closure of the two smelters.


Shipments of cathode to China drop 3.9% YoY to 242,100 MT while shipments to the US fell 45.5% compared with Q1 2018 to 80,300 MT. However, exports to South Korea rose 55.5% YoY to 38,400 MT in the period.



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