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Imports of copper set to fall
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China's refined copper imports, the world's biggest, may fall almost eight percent in 2008 as domestic output increases, Maike Investment Holding (Group) Co said yesterday.


The country will probably import 1.35 million metric tons of the metal next year, from an estimated 1.46 million tons this year and 827,000 tons in 2006, Shen Haihua, general manager of Shanghai Maike Dickson Investment Management Co, a unit of the metals trader Maike Group, said yesterday.


China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, is the biggest user of copper, used in wires and pipes. Gross domestic product expanded 11.9 percent in the second quarter, and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News estimate growth at 11.5 percent in the three months to September 30.


Domestic production of refined copper may be 3.8 million tons next year, from an estimated 3.4 million tons this year, Shen said, confirming data in a report by Macquarie Bank Ltd.


Apparent demand for the metal will rise 3.2 percent in 2008 to 4.9 million tons, after climbing by an estimated 32.5 percent this year, Shen said.


(Shanghai Daily October 25, 2007)

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