The outlook for curbing copper theft in South Africa is looking “fairly positive”, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Monday, as it reported a 20.7% monthly decrease in the April Copper Theft Barometer.
Copper theft fell from a high of R34.7-million in March, to R27.5-million in April.
“[This] confirms earlier suspicions that the March figure was an outlier rather than the start of a significantly higher trend for copper theft in South Africa,” said CEO Neren Rau, attributing the decrease to policing efforts against copper theft and increased vigilance among stakeholders.
He added that there was a “heightened focus” on clamping down on copper theft mostly owing to the full implementation of the Second-Hand Goods Act.
Further, Sacci reported that the international spot price of copper fell for the second consecutive month during May 2012 - dropping below the $8 000/t psychological barrier for the first time since December 2011.
The spot price, which dropped to an average of $7 990/t during May, from an $8 251/t average in March, was experiencing a similar downward trend to that of last year as doubts about European financial stability persist.
The uncertainty surrounding the implementation of far-reaching agreements among the members of the European Union to deliver financial stability in the region had dampened investor confidence, Rau stated.
“This has dampened investment in new projects and the price of copper as an essential industrial input will remain muted. Continued doubts over China’s so-called ‘soft landing’ should also place downward pressure on the price of copper for the rest of 2012,” he added.