Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Copper production in China, the world’s largest user, climbed to a record in November as high treatment and refining fees encouraged smelters to process more material.
Refined-copper output rose 28 percent from a year earlier to 654,000 metric tons, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. That was 2.7 percent higher than the previous record of 637,000 tons a month earlier.
Production was also lifted by rising availability of scrap copper imports as a government operation to stop illegal imports of solid waste came to an end last month. The operation, known as the “Green Fence,” was scheduled from Feb. 1 to Nov. 30, according to customs.
“High treatment and refining charges and more supplies from scrap imports boosted China’s refined copper production in recent months,” said Helen Lau, a Hong Kong-based analyst at UOB Kay Hian Ltd.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange gained 0.3 percent to $7,241.50 a ton at 4:25 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal for delivery in February closed at 51,560 yuan ($8,490) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
Domestic iron ore production climbed to a record 138.66 million tons a month ago, according to statistics bureau data. The steel-making material entered a bull market in July as users in China increased stockpiles that shrank in March to the lowest level since 2009.
The market’s supply and demand outlook is positive as producers globally struggle to deliver larger volumes and demand in China continues to grow, Andrew Harding, iron ore CEO at Rio Tinto Group, said on Dec. 4.
China’s zinc production was 507,000 tons in November, the highest since December 2011, while its lead production fell 8.8 percent on month to 386,000 tons, according to statistics bureau data.
--Alfred Cang. Editors: Jarrett Banks, Ovais Subhani