The value of copper theft increased to a level of R9,5m in November, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Friday.
According to the Sacci Copper Theft Barometer, copper theft stood at R9,2m in October 2013.
Sacci said the November increase was the first since August this year, and more likely to reflect an accounting lag than an actual increase.
The Copper Theft Volume Indicator increased to a level of 131 metric tons in November from 128 metric tons in October.
The international spot price of copper increased to a monthly average, to date, of US$7 109 (about R73 791) per metric ton in December 2013, from $7 068 (about R73 365) in November.
“Over the past three years, the January figure for copper prices showed monthly growth, so it’s very likely that the figure might increase above $7 100 in the beginning of 2014,” Sacci predicted.
Copper waste exports increased to $62,9m (about R652m) in October 2013, from $58,2m (about R604m) in September.
Sacci CEO Neren Rau said the outlook on copper theft looked “relatively positive” over the short to medium-term.
“Improved policing and moderate copper price movements should strengthen the downward trend in copper theft over the short term.” — Sapa