Better Balance of World Copper Ingot

World copper ingot supply was balanced in 2005, according to International Copper Study Group. The copper ingot output including scrap remelting increased by 4% to 16.433 million tonnes while the demand decreased by 1.5% to 16.431 million tonnes. The supply exceeded the demand for the first time in 4 years from short supply at 887,000 tonnes in 2004. The market recognizes still no oversupply just after the very tight supply though the supply is getting easier than before. ICSG reported the world copper ingot output with copper ore increased by 4% to 14.328 million tonnes and the secondary copper output with scrap increased by 4.4% to 2.105 tonnes in 2005 from 2004. The output increased by more than 20% in China, India and Indonesia. The output also increased by 12% in Asian countries and the output increased slightly in Europe and Oceania. The world demand decreased despite of higher growth in China and India. The demand increased by 9% in China and by 13% in India in 2005 from 2004. The demand decreased by 9.5% in Europe and South Korea, by 4.5% in Japan and by 6% in USA. The supply and demand was 2,000 tonnes of oversupply or almost balanced in 2005 though ICSG estimated in November the supply could be 122,000 tonnes of shortage. The supply turned into oversupply since October and the supply was 185,000 tonnes higher than the demand in December after the 41,000 tonnes of oversupply in November though the supply was short up to September. ICSG analyzed the demand decreased in Europe due to lower consumption in Christmas holiday along with lower demand in Japan. World copper inventory decreased by 40,000 tonnes in 2005. The inventory increased by 32,000 tonnes at exchanges including London Metal Exchange, New York Mercantile Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange while ICSG estimates the other inventory increased by around 72,000 tonnes. The inventory held by major exchanges increased by around 41,000 tonnes to around 199,000 tonnes at the end of February from January.