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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Copper Producer to Cut Exports

The country's second-largest copper producer, Uralelectromed, said Thursday it would cut exports this year by more than half.

"More than half of the 300,000 metric tons of copper we plan to produce this year will go to the domestic market," the company said in a statement. Uralelectromed produces 45 percent of the nation's copper.

Metals analyst Alexander Agibalov of Aton brokerage said the decision made sound economic sense as Uralelectromed was being incorporated into a new holding, Urals Mining and Metallurgy Co., which will encompass the whole copper cycle, from ore output to production of cathode copper and some copper products, with the aim of export finished products rather than just ore.

"Uralelectromed is part of a holding that also includes plants producing higher-quality products," Agibalov said. "So it will export those products, like copper rod or copper wire, which cost more than primary copper and will bring them greater profits."

Uralelectromed commercial director Igor Kudryashkin said in a statement that a sharp rise in demand for copper on the domestic market and a wish to avoid vulnerability to price fluctuations on the London Metals Exchange were behind the decision to decrease exports.