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BEIJING: China’s January copper cathode output from major smelters fell 7.49% from the prior month due to maintenance and the holiday season, state-backed research house Antaike said on Tuesday.

Production at 22 smelters surveyed by Antaike, representing around 83% of China’s total capacity, stood at 742,100 tonnes last month, down from a revised December output of 802,200 tonnes, but was up 2.99% on an annual basis.

“The copper production cuts from maintenance in January were more than expected, while the seasonal impact from Spring Festival holidays and higher monthly basis in December led to the big decline,” Antaike said in a statement.

The research house expected copper cathode output this month to remain steady at around 740,000 tonnes, as smelters are resuming production but there are three days fewer in February.

China’s refined zinc production from 51 smelters stood at 444,000 tonnes in January, down by 12,000 tonnes from December and down 8.2% year-on-year, Antaike said in a separate statement, attributing the drop to holidays as well as the Beijing Winter Olympics.

February zinc output is expected to slip to some 430,000 tonnes as holidays continue, while there could be disruptions from the pandemic situation in some areas, it said.

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