2012 Dec.

China's 2012 copper consumption forecast revised lower to 7.68 mil mt

China's refined copper consumption forecast for 2012 has been revised to 7.68 million mt, which is slightly down from the 7.76 million mt projected earlier in the year, an analyst from the state-run nonferrous metals information division Beijing Antaike said Wednesday.

  China consumed 7.33 million mt of refined copper in 2011.

  "We have recently lowered our copper consumption forecast due to the weaker-than-expected demand situation this year," the Antaike analyst said. He added that refined copper consumption in 2013 is projected to increase by 5.5% from the 2012 level.

  Meanwhile, Antaike also revised the 2012 refined copper output to 5.6 million mt, down from its earlier forecast at 5.7 million mt. China produced 5.13 million mt of refined copper in 2011.

  "The lower refined copper output projection is in response to weaker market conditions this year in a slowing global economy," he added.

  A Hubei-based copper analyst echoed his view, adding that the anticipated slowdown in copper demand and output growth was also affected by slowing global demand for refined copper in the air-conditioning, transport, construction and power sectors. "There has been a lack of market direction for copper this year. Chinese producers look rather conservative in ramping up their output," he said, adding that large stockpiles and poor demand had also weakened market sentiment.