financed by borrowing in the US, taking advantage of the low interest rates currently available there. The company said that it was boosting the proportion of its raw materials obtained from imports from 40 per cent this year to 60 per cent in order to meet its production target of 400,000 tons in 2004. Rival Tongling Nonferrous Metals has cut its 2003 production target by 27 per cent to 340,000 tons because of shortages of raw materials.
The Lisbon-based International Copper Study Group has forecast that China's demand for copper will rise by 12 per cent this year. Jiangxi Copper and state-owned China Copper Development are jointly conducting research on mineral reserves in Mongolia, and last year Jiangxi formed a joint venture with a group of domestic trading companies to buy minerals from countries in southeast Asia.