Johannesburg - Copper theft in October was at its lowest level since June 2011, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci) copper theft barometer released on Thursday.
In a statement, Sacci said R13.97m worth of copper was stolen in October, compared to R14.7m in September and R17m in August.
In volume, this equated to 200 metric tons in October from 220 tons in September and 273 tons in August.
"Despite these monthly decreases, the barometer has grown by 24% on an annual basis for the year up to October, with September the first month to show an annual contraction."
The copper price decreased to an estimated average of $7677 (about R67 212) a metric ton in November from the $8065 (about R70 609) average in October.
"The price decreases reflect renewed concerns about the performance of the world economy."
The chamber said that sophisticated copper theft syndicates appeared to respond to fluctuations in the metal price.
Given the recent reduction in the copper price and historical trends, there were was a good chance that copper theft levels would not rise for the rest of the year.