Monday, 22 August 2011 11:05


This is the NINTH monthly issue of the SACCI Non-Ferrous Metals (Copper) Theft Barometer.  The Barometer measures and monitors copper cable theft in the country on a monthly basis.  The Copper Theft Barometer registered a level of 15.84 in July 2011.  This is up from the figure in June of 14.37 but still below the average 16 and 18 million rand a month.  The figure of 15.84 in July 2011 suggests a more contained level of theft with the fall in copper price from almost USD 10 000 in July to below USD 9 000 in August. 


COPPER PRICES IN USD PER TON 1.1.2009 – 19.8.2011   Source: LME Copper Prices in USD per ton

From December 2010 to April 2011, the international price of copper hovered in the range of USD 9500 to USD 10 000.  In July it rose to almost USD 10 000 per ton but subsequently fallen to below USD 9 000 per ton.  The downgrading of the USA and concerns about Italian and French debt have left sentiment shaken and have impacted upon the current and future price of copper.  The London Metal Exchange confirmed the discounting of copper premiums amid the continued summer slowdown and following the inflow of more than 5 000 tonnes of cathode into the London Metal Exchange warehouses in New Orleans, Rotterdam and Netherlands earlier.  The oversupply of copper and poor demand from the world economy is likely to further reduce the profitability of engaging in the illegal copper trade.

  Source: SA DTI Trade Statistics

The latest figures for export from South Africa of Copper Waste and Scrap HS code 7404 remain those January 2009 to May 2011 which show a steady increase in the export of the commodity reaching the highest level (disregarding the spike in November 2009) of R370 000 in May 2011.  Based on predictions of a slower demand for copper and a falling price, the figures for June and July are likely to level out.

In addition to the enactment of the Second Hands Goods Act in January 2011, various business and law enforcement bodies have cast a strong eye to the reclassification of the theft of copper cable and electricity as very serious offences which impacts national security.  The recent disruption of Gautrain services has drawn renewed attention to the overall economic impact of copper theft and emphasizes the scope of challenge that has historically, and is currently, faced by Telkom Transnet and Eskom. 

click here for full report or Contact:

Neren Rau   SACCI CEO    011 446 3800

Peggy Drodskie SACCI COO    011 446 3800