Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

The global copper market recorded a deficit while the international nickel market logged a surplus in the first six months of the year, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS). 


The copper market was in a deficit of 155,000mt from January through June compared to a full-year deficit of 267,000mt in 2019. Meanwhile, the nickel market had surplus production, which exceeded demand by 31,000mt following a full-year deficit of 26,900mt in 2019.


Copper market


Global refined copper production in June 2020 was 20mn mt. while demand was 21.63mn mt.


According to the WBMS data, global copper mine production rose by 0.7pc from January through June 2020 to 10.05mn mt compared to the same period in 2019, with global refined production rising by 5.1pc to 11.85mn mt. This increase was mainly recorded in China and Chile, which saw increases of 519,000mt and 131,000mt, respectively. 


Global copper demand in the first six months of 2020 rose to 12mn mt from 11.56mn mt between January and June 2019. China again saw a 14.9pc rise in demand in the January to June period, with an increase of 6.7mn mt over the same six-month period last year. The EU, on the other hand, saw production decline by 2.1pc, which led to demand falling by 149,000mt in H1 2020 compared to the same six-month period in 2019. 


Nickel market


Global nickel refinery and smelter production in June was 198,600 mt, with demand at 204,400mt.


From January to June 2020, global nickel mine production decreased by 127,000mt to 1.05mn mt compared to the first six months of 2019. Chinese smelter/refinery production fell by 70,000mt, with apparent demand at 524,100mt through January to June 2020, which declined by 39,000mt from the same period last year. Refined nickel production and refined nickel demand in the first six months of 2020 both totaled to 1mn mt.


From a demand standpoint, global nickel demand dropped by 95,000mt in the first six months of the year compared to H1 2019. 


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