Jiangxi Copper Co, China's second-largest producer of the metal, says most mine output has resumed after cutbacks because of snowstorms, while its smelter remains below full capacity because of a lack of raw materials.
About 80 percent of output capacity at the company's mines has resumed, Board Secretary Pan Qifang said yesterday. Smelter operations have yet to be fully restored because of "transportation problems," Pan said.
Supply problems have hampered the company since February 2 as China was buffeted by the worst snowstorms in 50 years. Apart from the Yongping mine, Jiangxi Copper's other mines were either closed or operated at about half capacity, the company said last week. The smelter's output dropped to 60 to 70 percent of normal capacity, Bloomberg News reported.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange has risen for five days on concern supply will lag demand on the disruptions, which cut stockpiles. Inventories monitored by the exchange fell to 164,125 tons yesterday, the lowest in more than three months.
"Jiangxi Copper will probably benefit from the prevailing higher copper price as demand outpaces supply," said Zhang Xi, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd. The impact of the snowstorm "is mainly on its smelting capacity," he said.
(Shanghai Daily February 13, 2008)