Domestic refined copper output falls 54.8% in Apr-Sept: Report
22/11/2018 12:59
The domestic refined copper output declined by 54.8 per cent in the first half of the current financial year, mainly on account of shutdown of Vedanta's Tuticorin plant, Care Ratings said Wednesday.

"Domestic refined copper production has fallen by 54.8 per cent during H1-FY19. The fall in production is majorly attributable to the permanent shutdown of the 400 KT, Tuticorin smelter which accounted for 40 per cent of the country's copper smelting capacity," the rating agency said in a statement.

The outputs of Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Hindalco during the period were also restrained due to the shutdown of their smelters for maintenance purposes. "This, too, has added to the decline in production of the metal," the statement said.

The drop in the domestic production has led to the domino effect of a sharp increase in the country's imports and fall in exports, turning India into a net importer of refined copper, it said.

"Exports have fallen by 93.6 per cent, (during H1-FY18 exports had increased by 35.8 per cent), whereas imports have increased by 167.9 per cent (during H1-FY18 imports had fallen by 24.2 per cent)," the statement said.

The Tamil Nadu government had in May ordered the state's pollution control board to seal and "permanently" close the Vedanta Group's copper plant in Tuticorin, following violent protests over pollution concerns during which 13 people were killed in police firing.