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Global copper smelting activity continues to accelerate during December despite U.S. weakness

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  • Global copper smelting activity continues to accelerate during December despite U.S. weakness

21 January 2021 – SAVANT, a unique geo-spatial analytics product launched in October 2019 by Earth-i and Marex Spectron, showed December’s global copper smelting activity continued the advances that were seen in November. There were also further regional divergences with Asia and Europe showing strong levels of activity, whilst North America remained weak.
December observations include:

  • December 2020 saw the global activity dispersion index average 55.2, up from the 53.0 recorded in the prior month.
  • The China index saw a significant increase to 55.5 from the prior month’s 48.6, as capacity utilisation continued to climb.
  • North America, which had seen a huge rebound in August and September, however fell to 33.6 (from 36.6 in November, 45.4 in October and 56.5 in September), suggesting that the pandemic-related shutdowns continues to be a major factor.
  • Europe maintained its recent high levels of activity, with a December reading of 59.9, although this number is marginally down from November’s 61.7.
  • Asia ex-China saw a strong increase in smelting activities, with a reading of 60.2, compared with 53.6 in November.
  • South America declined to 49.7 from a level of 62.2 in November.

* – Index values go back to March 2016

Dr Guy Wolf, Marex Spectron’s Global Head of Analytics, commented: “China and the rest of Asia continued the rapid expansion that was seen in November, although as we head towards Chinese New Year, we would expect to see some softening of activity levels. The stand-out reading in December continues to be North America where the pandemic has depressed activity levels to near the lows of the year. Remarkably the average global activity levels for 2020 were higher than 2019, driven almost entirely by the explosive recovery in China from the first quarter off this year.”

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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