Copper smelting activity across the world continued to recover in September as more smelters came online, according to satellite data released by Earth-i and Marex Spectron.
Earth-i’s global dispersion index, which measures smelting activity using the satellite data, rose to 50.2 in September, up from 45.8 during the same month last year and from 44.2 in August 2020. The increase was attributed to a rise in smelting activity across North America and the return of Chinese copper smelters, which had suspended activities in August for routine maintenance.
China, North America, and Europe were all operating at above-average levels in September, according to Dr. Guy Wolf, global head of analytics at Marex Spectron. He added, that some more volatility could be expected from China until the end of the year since some smelters had still not completed their maintenance activity.
The index for China rebounded to 50.2 in September from 30.8 in the previous month, while North America trended slightly downward at 56.5 from 58.7 during the same period under comparison. In Europe, the index increased to 51.7 in September from 46.6 in the previous month, as did the rest of the Asian region, excluding China, where copper smelting activity rose to 51.9 last month from 47.4 in August.
The only region that indicated muted activity was South America, where the index fell to 43.2 in September from 47 in August.