Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Schroeder, Harold J.; Jolly, James H.
Copper, pp. 329-370 PDF (4.8 MB)
COPPER 46% of the recovered copper, secondary smelters for 26%, and primary producers for 23%. The remaining 5% was reclaimed at chemical plants, foundries, and manufacturers. Consumption of purchased copper-base scrap in 1977 was 1.57 million tons consist- 335 ing of 61% new scrap and 39% old scrap. Of the major categories of copper and copperalloy products derived from scrap, the output of unalloyed copper, brass mill products, and brass and bronze ingots was 402,000 tons, 664,000 tons, and 244,200 tons, increases of 3%, 2%, and 7%, respectively. CONSUMPTION Consumption of refined copper in the first half of 1977 was 17% above the comparable period for 1976, but this rate of consumption was not sustained in the second half. Consumption for the year advanced 10% to 2.2 million tons, the second year of recovery from the drastic slump in 1975, and approximately the same as consumption in 1974. Wire mills accounted for 69% of refined copper consumption, brass mills accounted for 29%, and all other categories accounted for the remaining 2%. Apparent withdrawals of primary refined copper on domestic account was 1.79 million tons compared with 1.83 million tons in 1976. STOCKS Stocks of refined copper at primary producers were drawn down from 190,000 tons at the start of the year to 79,000 tons by the end of June, then moved up to 234,000 tons by yearend. At wire rod and brass mills, the stocks of refined copper increased from 150,000 tons at the start of the year to 213,000 tons at the end of July, then declin ed to 123,000 tons by the end of November and ended the year where they began at 150,000 tons. Stocks of refined copper in Commodity Exchange, Inc., warehouses increased from 201,000 tons at the start of the year to 213,000 tons at the end of March, then declined to 184,000 tons by yearend. PRICES Prices of copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) increased from an average 63.3 cents per pound for January to 68.6 cents for March followed by a generally downward trend to 52.5 cents for August and a rise to 57.1 for December. The average estimated price for 1977 was 59 cents compared with 64 cents for 1976. Producer price in the United States approximated the LME pattern with price for refined cathode copper increasing in three steps, from 65 cents per pound af the start of the year to 74 cents in midMarch, then decreasing in four steps between May and August to a price of 60 cents. A modest advance in the LME prices led to a 3-cent incresse in the domestic producer price in mid-December. The average for 1977 was 67 cents compared with 70 cents per pound in 1976. FOREIGN TRADE Exports of alloyed copper scrap, in gross weight, were 82,000 tons compared with 76,700 tons in 1976. Imports of alloyed copper scrap were 13,400 tons, gross weight, or 8,800 tons copper content. Net imports of copper continued to be a relatively large supply component in 1977 as imports of unmanufactured copper excluding alloyed copper scrap fell slightly from 534,700 tons to 516,700 tons and exports decreased from 172,000 to 125,400 tons. The largest trade category, refined copper, had a small increase in imports from 381,500 tons to 390,800 tons and a 54% decrease in exports from 111,900 tons to 51,500 tons. Of the total imports, Canada supplied 25%, Chile 23%, Zambia 15%, and Peru 12%. Imports of blister copper were 46,200 tons compared with 44,500 tons in 1976. The other import categories of ore, concentrates, matte, and unalloyed copper scrap totaled 79,800 tons, and the other export categories of ore, concentrates, matte, blister, ash and residues, and unalloyed scrap totaled 73,800 tons.
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