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Global Copper Smelting Activity Continues Recovery During September

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  • Global Copper Smelting Activity Continues Recovery During September

16 October 2020 – The SAVANT platform, a unique geo-spatial analytics product launched in October 2019 by Earth-i and Marex Spectron, showed a continuation of the strong rebound in global copper smelting activity observed in August. This was a stronger reading regionally compared to August, with China, North America and Europe all seeing growth, both month-on-month and year-on-year.
September Observations:

  • September 2020 saw the global activity dispersion index average 50.2, which was a significant improvement on the 44.2 seen in August and the 45.8 for the period September 2019.
  • The China index bounced strongly from the low August reading of 39.3, recording a level of 50.2, suggesting that the maintenance outages are largely complete.
  • North America, which had seen a huge rebound in August to 58.7, after seven consecutive months under 35, continued to show high levels of activity. The reading for September was 56.5, the second highest in the past 12 months.
  • In Europe, where the recovery in August (46.6) was more muted, September saw continued improvement with a reading of 51.7.
  • Elsewhere, Asia ex-China was 51.9 (47.4 in August) whilst South America was the only region to see a reduced level of activity, falling from 47.0 in August to 43.2 in September.

* – Index values go back to March 2016

Dr Guy Wolf, Marex Spectron’s Global Head of Analytics, commented: “September was the first month this year that China, North America and Europe were all indicating above average levels of activity. For the first half of the year, China was operating on a totally opposite cycle to other regions with a rebound in the second quarter as Western economies went into lockdown. The build-up of deferred maintenance in China that led to the weakness in August still appears to be not entirely completed so we expect volatile readings out of China to continue. But the main story from September has been the pick-up outside of China, particularly North America. Given the length of time that activity has been subdued, the rebound could extend for some time yet.”

Global activity dispersion index since October 2019 (weekly average)

Source: SAVANT Global Copper Smelting Index

Regional activity dispersion index for China and Global(ex-China)

Source: SAVANT Global Copper Smelting Index

The Activity Dispersion Index is a measure of capacity-weighted activity levels observed at smelter sites where a reading of 50 indicates that current activity levels are at average levels. Readings above or below 50 indicate greater or lesser activity levels than average, respectively. The above chart displays these readings as a weekly rolling average.
The SAVANT Copper platform monitors up to 90% of the smelting capacity for copper around the globe. Using daily updated sources, including extensive use of geospatial data collected from satellites, the index reports on the activities at the world’s smelting plants offering subscribers unprecedented levels of coverage, accuracy and reliability. This dataset allows users to make better informed and more timely trading decisions.
To find out more please visit, or sign-up for the free SAVANT service.
About Earth-i
Earth-i is a geospatial intelligence company using machine learning, artificial intelligence and Earth Observation data to provide unique and relevant insights, derived from diverse geospatial data, that deliver clear decision advantage for businesses, governments and other organisations.
Earth-i provides advanced analytics using automated interpretation of a range of geospatial Earth Observation data sources including colour imagery, colour video, infra-red and radar from a range of sources including satellite, drone, aerial and ground-based sensors. This data is fused with additional data sources to extract factual understanding and generate predictive insights across a range of markets such as commodities, supply chain, agriculture, infrastructure and defence.
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About Marex Spectron Group Limited
Marex Spectron is a leading global commodities brokerage, with significant market share of many major Agricultural, Metal and Energy products. Headquartered in London, Marex Spectron’s extensive international network covers Europe, Asia and North America markets. State-of-the-art electronic and voice broking services facilitates all types of trading strategies. This is backed by decades of experience, with Marex Spectron placing great emphasis on intellectual knowledge and insight, alongside access to extensive data sets and the latest analytical tools. Its clients are commodity producers and consumers, banks, hedge funds, asset managers, brokers, commodity trading advisors and professional traders.
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