World Copper Metal Supply to Exceed Consumption in 2008

International Copper Study Group (ICSG) forecasted the world copper metal supply would become surplus to the consumption by 527,000 tonnes in 2008. Active demand for copper metal is expected mainly in emerging countries such as China, while copper smelters would expand their output capacities. As a result, the world total supply is estimated to exceed the total consumption for 3 years in a row.ICSG estimated the world total production of copper metal increases by 4.9% to 18.953 million tonnes in 2008 compared with 2007, up by 5.2% in North America, up by 2.9% in Latin America, up by 5.6% in Asia and CIS and up by 7.2% in EU.Copper metal production by electrolytic smelting method will increase in China, India and Japan when major smelters in these countries are expanding the output capacities. Copper metal production by SX-EW (Solvent Extraction-Electrowinnig) method will increase in Chile, Africa and USA.ICSG forecasted the world total consumption of copper metal increases by 3.6% to 18.426 million tonnes in 2008 compared with estimated 17.79 million tonnes in 2007. The consumption will increase by 5.3% in Asia and CIS, mainly in China, and by 3.1% in North America. The consumption will keep flat in Africa and EU.The world miners’ copper production is expected to increase by 7.3% to 17.13 million tonnes in 2008 from 2007. The production will increase by 26.7% to 1.2 million tonnes in Africa, by 4.9% to 2.45 million tonnes in North America and by 5.7% to 762 tonnes in Latin America.