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Global copper smelting activity declines during February

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Regional rebound, particularly North America, offset by China New Year outages
03 March 2021 – SAVANT, a unique geo-spatial analytics product launched in October 2019 by Earth-i and Marex Spectron, shows global copper smelting activity continued to contract in February after what had been a large decline in January. The relatively small decrease month on month appears to be the result of a reduction in China smelting over Chinese New Year as Global ex-China activity continued to rebound after the prior month.
February 2021 observations include:

  • February 2021 saw the global activity dispersion index average 45.8, compared with 46.5 in January.
  • The China index fell to 42.0 from the prior month’s 50.3, as Chinese New Year shutdowns materially impacted activity levels.
  • North America, which had registered extremely low levels of activity in the prior two months, saw a return to some semblance of normality with a reading of 44.1, up from 33.2 in January.
  • In Europe, the severe January weakness continued with a reading of 43.0, compared with 41.3 in the prior month.
  • Elsewhere, Asia ex-China also saw a significant improvement with a reading of 55.2 (48.8 in January) whilst South America saw a rise to 50.3 from a level of 43.0 in January.

* – Index values go back to March 2016

Dr Guy Wolf, Marex Spectron’s Global Head of Analytics, commented: “The large decline in Chinese smelter activity was well anticipated due to the holiday period and should recover fairly quickly. Whilst the reasons for the continued weakness in Europe are understood, the encouraging signs of a rebound in the rest of the world, particular Asia ex-China, raise hopes for the second quarter.
If the improvements seen in most regions continue through March, combined with a resumption in Chinese activity, the next month could be the first time in many months where activity level trends are aligned across all major regions.”

Global activity dispersion index over last 12 months (weekly average)

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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