The world copper market is expected to see a surplus of at least 345,000 tonnes in 2009, growing to around 400,000 tonnes in 2010, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in a report on Tuesday.
The Lisbon-based group expects world mine production to rise to 16 million tonnes in 2009, up 3.8 percent from 2008, and growing to 17.2 million tonnes in 2010.
Output of refined copper in 2009 is expected to slow to 17.6 million tonnes, down about 700,000 tonnes or 3.7 percent, from 2008 levels.
A significant portion of the decline in output, about 200,000 tonnes, is attributed to reduced secondary production stemming from a global shortage of copper scrap, it added.
In 2010, ICSG expects capacity utilization to improve and refined copper production to grow by 6.7 percent to 18.8 million tonnes, compared with that of 2009.
Electrolytic refinery production increases in Asia and SX-EW (Solvent extraction-electrowinning) production growth in Africa and South America are expected to account for most of the growth, the group said.
A shortage of concentrates in 2009 and 2010 is expected to restrain the growth of refined production, it added.
ICSG expects world refined usage to decline by a minimum of 4.3 percent in 2009.
World refined copper consumption and supply trends, 2008-2010, in thousands of tonnes:
2008 2009 2010
World mine production 5,450 16,035 17,239
World refined production 18,244 17,574 18,751
Copper usage 17,995 17,230 18,333
(Reporting by Chris Kelly; Editing by Marguerita Choy)