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Due to the closure of a major copper smelter in Tuticorin, a steep fall has been seen in the country’s production of refined copper during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2018-19. The copper production fell by 47.1% when seen on a year-on-year basis and reached 109Kilo Tonnes (KT, 1 KT is equal to 1000 tonnes) in the quarter under observation.
This fall in copper production led to an increase in imports and a decrease in exports of the metal. The imports have increased by 233% to 10KT in the quarter. The exports fell 91.6% on year on year basis comparison and reached to 7KT during the first quarter of the current financial year. India was a net exporter of copper and during the first quarter of last fiscal where the exports had increased by 70.1% and imports were down by 69.9%.
India imported copper from Japan, Congo, Switzerland, Tanzania, UAE, and South American countries. The export consignments of the metal were shipped to China, South Korea, Bangladesh and Malaysia in the quarter observed.
The global prices of copper during the first quarter of the current fiscal have increased by 21.6% when compared with last year. The prices were volatile on London Metal Exchange because of the scenario of trade tensions between the USA and China. The prices of the metal increased during the first week of June month. The Indian smeltering unit was also closed during that time.
India’s refined copper production was at 843KT in the last fiscal and is estimated to reach 510KT during the current fiscal year.