Refined copper production falls 47%

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 09:40:44



Business Bureau

DOMESTIC refined copper production declined by 47.1 per cent in the first quarter this fiscal, mainly on account of Vedanta’s copper smelter plant shutdown at Tuticorin, Care Ratings said on Tuesday.

During the quarter, the output of Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Hindalco was also restrained due to shutdown of their smelters for maintenance purposes.

"Domestic refined copper production has fallen by 47.1 per cent during Q1-FY19. Fall in production is mainly attributable to the shutdown of the 400 KT, Tuticorin smelter which accounted for 40 per cent of the country’s copper smelting capacity,” the rating agency said in a statement. The drop in domestic production has led to the domino effect of a sharp increase in the country's imports and fall in the exports.

“Exports have fallen by 91.6 per cent (it had increased 70.1 per cent in the first quarter previous fiscal), whereas imports have increased by 221.6 per cent (it fell 69.9 per cent in April-June quarter last year). India imported refined copper from, Japan (66 per cent), Congo (22 per cent), Switzerland (5 per cent), Tanzania (5 per cent), South America (one per cent) & UAE (one per cent) and exported refined copper to China (58 per cent), South Korea (30 per cent), Bangladesh (6 per cent ) and Malaysia (6 per cent) during Q1-FY19,” it said.

Share of exports towards China decreased to 58 per cent in the first quarter of FY19 compared to 63 per cent during the same period in FY18.

“Share of imports from Japan has increased from 33 per cent during Q1-FY18 to 66 per cent during Q1-FY19,” it said. Domestic consumption has been subdued on account of copper being substituted by aluminium, it said.

The Tamil Nadu Government had in May ordered the state Pollution Control Board to seal and “permanently” close the Vedanta Group's copper plant in Tuticorin following violent protests over pollution concerns during which 13 people were killed in police firing.