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Global copper smelting activity accelerates in ROW as North America weakens

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15 December 2020 – SAVANT, a unique geo-spatial analytics product launched in October 2019 by Earth-i and Marex Spectron, showed increased global copper smelting activity in November, having seen no increase in October. The largest increases were in Europe, China and South America, while North America saw a sharp decline as smelting activities were curtailed.
November observations include:

  • November 2020 saw the global activity dispersion index average 53.0, a minor change on the 50.3 recorded in the prior month.
  • The China index rose to 48.6 from the prior month at 42.2, as capacity utilisation rebounded.
  • North America, which had seen a huge rebound in Aug/Sep, fell to 36.6 (from 45.4 in October, 56.5 in September), suggesting pandemic-related shutdowns were again a major factor.
  • In Europe, where the recovery had been more muted, October had seen a huge jump from 51.7 to 66.5, the highest monthly reading in the database for Europe. This high level was maintained during November with a reading of 61.7.
  • Elsewhere, Asia ex-China continued to recover with a reading of 53.6 (52.1 in October) whilst South America saw a jump to 62.2 from a level of 55.1 in October.

* – Index values go back to March 2016

Dr Guy Wolf, Marex Spectron’s Global Head of Analytics, commented: “The volatility of activity levels at a regional level continues to be striking. Whether due to lockdowns or maintenance, we continue to observe sharp rises and falls in activity levels from month to month. China led the recovery earlier in the year, then passed the baton onto North America, and now it is with Europe and South America. Assuming the pattern is repeated, we should therefore expect to see activity levels in Europe and South America begin to soften whilst China and Asia appear to be accelerating again.”

Global activity dispersion index over last 12 months (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 SAVANT, 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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