News Column

Sacci Copper Theft Barometer - May 2014

June 27, 2014

The Copper Theft Barometer level increased to R15.4 million in May from R12.5 million in April and R11 million in March. The May figure is 71.1% higher than a year ago and the third consecutive monthly increase. Recent incidents of copper theft that resulted in large scale property damage and a variety of economic costs together with the upward trend in the Barometer suggests that urgent policy response is required. The Copper Theft Volume Indicator increased to 214 metric tons in May 2014 from 176 metric tons in April and 153 metric tons in March.

The international average monthly spot price of copper to date increased to $6 796 in June from $6885 in May. The monthly average has fluctuated between $6 500 and $7 000 since March 2014, compared to the slightly higher 2013 average of $7 330. South African exports of waste copper products dropped $24.0 million in April 2014 from $30.3 in March and $33.1 million in February.

The outlook for copper theft levels for 2014 is troubling especially in the light of recent high-profile incidents of copper theft that have resulted in large scale power outages and severe injuries. Although the SAPS have done excellent work with practical legislative initiatives to curb copper theft thus far, this project needs to move forward by way of introducing a specialised copper theft police unit.

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Source: AllAfrica

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