Global demand for copper is expected to broadly meet supply in 2016 and 2017, while there is a chance of stronger-than-expected consumption in top user China, an industry body said on Friday.
The International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) sees a modest 120,000-tonne deficit this year, narrowing to 60,000 tonnes in 2017.
"Forecasts therefore suggest that in both 2016 and 2017 the copper market will be broadly balanced," the IWCC said in a statement.
Refined copper production in 2016 is expected to rise 2 percent from the year before to 22.38 million tonnes, while global demand for refined copper will climb 2.6 percent to 22.26 million tonnes.
For 2017, the body sees refined copper output at 22.77 million tonnes, growing 1.7 percent compared with 2016, with demand climbing 2 percent to 22.71 million tonnes.
Demand in top consumer China is set to hit 10.5 million tonnes this year, up 4.1 percent on last year, with 2.4-percent growth next year to 10.75 million tonnes.
"There is perhaps more upside demand potential in China in 2017 than the figure might suggest," the IWCC said, without giving details.
Meanwhile, demand for refined copper in the European Union is forecast to increase 0.5 percent to 3.15 million tonnes this year, rising to 3.19 million tonnes in 2017.
The IWCC sees slightly lower demand from Japan and the United States in 2016, although that will stabilize next year in Japan and recover in the United States to 1.82 million tonnes.
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(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph)