Skip to main content

Yet more growth in China’s non-ferrous metals production

In reviewing the status of China’s non-ferrous metals industry for the period from January to July 2023, it emerges that production steadily increased. According to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the industrial added value of the non-ferrous metals industry increased by 5.9% year on year - some 2.1 percentage points higher than the industrial average.

Production of 10 types of non-ferrous metal reached 42.32 million tons for a year-on-year increase of 7%; among them, refined copper production of 7.32 million tons equated to a year-on-year increase of 12.6% while production of raw aluminium showed a year-on-year gain of 2.8% in reaching 23.62 million tons.

During the same January-July period, prices of major non-ferrous metal varieties recorded year-on-year decreases, with spot price averages (in Yuan RMB) as follows:

Copper                                                68,212 per ton (-2.4% versus January-July 2022)

Aluminium                                          18,462 per ton (-11.7%)

Zinc                                                     21,855 per ton (-14.6%)

Nickel                                                 190,000 per ton (-8%)

Battery-grade lithium carbonate         322,000 per ton (-29.4%)

Also in the first seven months of 2023, imports of ore maintained their growth whereas exports of processed materials decreased year on year. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, physical imports of copper concentrate and bauxite amounted to, respectively, 15.41 million tons and 84.98 million tons to give year-on-year increases of, in turn, 7.9% and 12.2%. Import volumes of unwrought copper and copper materials totalled 3.039 million tons for a year-on-year decrease of 10.7% while imports of alumina fell 12.3% to 889,000 tons.

Exports of copper materials in this year’s January-July period were broadly similar to those for the same period in 2022 at 396,000 tons, but exports of aluminium materials dropped 20.1% year on year to 3.06 million tons.