Copper theft drops

2012-06-28 15:59


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Johannesburg - The amount of copper stolen in South Africa dropped from R27m in April to R23m last month, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday.

Sacci introduced a new scale on which copper theft is measured - the copper theft volume indicator - last month, CEO Neren Rau said in a statement.

"This provides a volume estimate of copper stolen that strips away the possible inflationary bias of high copper prices in a given month and provides an estimate in terms of tons of copper stolen."

According to this indicator, 356 tons were stolen in May, almost 16% less than the previous month.

The international copper spot price fell to an average of about R62 498 per metric ton in June, from about R66 638 in May and about R69 564 in March.

"This is the third consecutive monthly decrease in the metal price and the first drop below the R63 105 psychological barrier since October 2011."

This, taken with the fall in price of Brent crude oil, was an indication that concerns about a slowdown in global industrial activity was pulling the price of industrial commodities, such as copper down, and was likely to do so until at least the end of the year.

Rau said the continuous decrease in the international price of copper was beginning to filter into lower export volumes of the metal. From available data it appeared copper waste exports in April had decreased by 28% on a monthly basis.

Sacci welcomed the police's "Operation Thibela", aimed at reducing theft through enforcement of the Second-hand Goods Act, and noted a downward trend in copper theft in the last two months.

Read more on:    sacci  |  cable theft

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