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Global copper smelting extends recovery in October

November 2, 2021By Reuters

Global copper smelting activity extended its recovery in October while nickel production edged higher despite sharp falls in China due to a power crunch, data from satellite surveillance showed on Tuesday.

Copper smelting in China is ramping up after seasonal maintenance in the third quarter, satellite service SAVANT and broker Marex said in a statement.

“The contrasting trends between copper and nickel smelting activity in China shows how resilient – or vulnerable – each supply chain can be to exogenous shocks,” said Guy Wolf, global head of analytics at Marex.

Earth-i, which specialises in geospatial data, launched its SAVANT service late last year, tracking more than 100 smelters representing 80% to 90% of global production.

Under SAVANT’s dispersion index, 50 points indicate smelters are operating at the average level of the last 12 months. It also has a second index showing the percentage of active smelters.

Its global dispersion index for copper climbed to an average of 52.2 in October, up from 49.3 a month earlier.

In nickel, the global dispersion index rose to 46.0 from 41.1 in September. In China, it fell for the fourth month in a row to 33.0 in October, almost half the reading in July.

Global copper smelting extends its recovery in October

(Reporting by Eric Onstad, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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