The current copper market situation is weak, says Aurubis AG, Europe's biggest copper smelter. Smelter capacity utilization may remain at a lower level as the production of refined copper continues to be susceptible to disruptions.
“The markets for copper products remain weak and are still affected by the European debt crisis, especially in the Southern regions. In this market environment, our output and sales volumes increased compared to the seasonally weak previous quarter but did not achieve last year’s high sales level”, the company said in a recent statement
The copper concentrate market will likely be dependent on whether mine output stabilizes in the course of the year. Meanwhile, Chinese concentrate demand will be influenced by the price ratio between the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) and the London Metal Exchange (LME).
The company estimates that the demand for copper cathodes will develop positively overall in the countries in the northern hemisphere (with minor regional differences). In Asia, weaker copper demand is expected due to economic factors. But the Asian growth rate will be well over that of the Western world yet again. Aurubis sees copper prices trading at a good level in the coming months even though high volatility continues.
Source: Commodity Online