Global copper smelting activity rebounds after multi-year lows

  • Home
  • >
  • Press
  • >
  • Global copper smelting activity rebounds after multi-year lows

05 May 2021 – SAVANT, the unique geo-spatial analytics product launched in October 2019 by Earth-i and Marex, showed April global copper smelting activity rebound in the second half of the month from the record lows recorded in March.
April 2021 observations include:

  • April 2021 saw the global activity dispersion index average 43.6, up from the 39.8 reading in March, which was the lowest ever monthly average.
  • Although the first half of April appeared to be matching the previous month’s weak figures, with a reading of 39.7, the second half averaged 47.5, as smelting activities increased through to month-end.
  • The China index rose to 44.3 from 40.7 in March, which was the lowest since August 2020 (39.3), compared with the recent peak of 5.5 in December 2020.
  • North America continued to show weak activity during April, with a reading of 33.1 (up from 32.3).
  • In Europe, activities increased to 37.7, up from the record low of 32.4 in March.
  •  Elsewhere, Asia ex-China – which had set a new all-time low with a reading of 34.9 in March – rebounded to 46.6. While South America remained relatively robust, with a reading of 50.0, up from 47.2 in March.

* – Index values go back to March 2016

Dr Guy Wolf, Marex’s Global Head of Analytics, commented: “The margin pressures smelters faced from a shortage of concentrates was evident in the extremely weak readings that we saw in March. This proved to be a timely observation as copper prices have since rallied aggressively in response to that shortage of output. The platform now suggests we are seeing the effect of that price rally with a strong increase in smelter activity in the latter part of April.”

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.
For more information visit:

To find out more please visit
For more information about this press release, please contact:
About Marex
Marex is a leading global commodities brokerage, with significant market share of many major Agricultural, Metal and Energy products. Headquartered in London, Marex’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 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.
For more information visit

Get in touch


Would you like to share your Earth Observation requirements with us? Or discuss the possibility of using satellite imagery to solve challenges within your business?

Submit an RFP
Submit an NDA

More Articles