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HANOI: China's major copper smelters lowered production in June by 3.6% from the previous month due to seasonal maintenance, state-backed research house Antaike said on Monday. The 22 smelters in Antaike's production survey churned out 745,700 tonnes of refined copper cathode last month, which was still up 6.7% year-on-year, as producers including Tongling Nonferrous carried out overhauls.

January-June production from the group came in at 4.61 million tonnes, Antaike said, up 12.4% from a coronavirus-affected first half of 2020. Although producers including Jinchuan Group plan maintenance in July, overall cathode output is set to increase to around 780,000 tonnes this month as smelters cash in on rising treatment charges and sulphuric acid prices, Antaike said.

Spot treatment charges in China, which go up when demand for raw material copper concentrate falls, hit a near six-month high on Monday after a smelter in Shandong suffered an equipment failure.

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