The global copper market continued to witness a deficit during the first four months of 2020, while the nickel market recorded a surplus during the same period, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
The global copper market deficit stood at of 2,400mt in January-April 2020 compared to a full-year deficit of 268,000mt in 2019, WBMS data indicated. During this time, nickel production exceeded demand by 14,400mt compared with a full-year deficit of 17,900mt last year.
The bureau indicated that the demand in its data was calculated on an apparent basis because COVID-19 has disrupted supply and demand of material across the world during that period.
In April, global refined copper production stood at 1.9mn mt against demand of 2.1mn mt.
In the first four months of the year, global copper mine production increased by 1.9pc to 6.62mn mt compared to the same period in 2019, while the global refined production was up by 6.2pc to 7.9mn mt. The rise was led by output increases in China and Chile by 326,000mt and 80,000mt, respectively. However, production in the EU declined by 5pc in January-April 2020 compared to the same period last year.
Global copper demand in the first four months of 2020 rose by 2.5pc to 7.85mn mt from 7.74mn mt during the same period last year. Demand rose by 3.6pc in China to 4mn mt during the same period under comparison, but dropped in the EU by 92,000mt.
Global nickel refinery and smelter production in April 2020 stood at 168,400mt against a demand of 173,400mt.
In January to April 2020, global nickel mine production decreased by 74,000mt to 688,700mt compared to the first four months of 2019. The Chinese smelter/refinery production dropped by 30,000mt through the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.
From a demand standpoint, global nickel demand dropped by 31,400mt in the first four months of the year compared to 2019. However, Chinese demand was down by 15,000mt to 324,400mt though this period.