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Copper Demand Set to Grow Until 2024

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by Beroe Inc
17 November 2022

copper

Copper is a major industrial metal with high ductility, electrical and thermal conductivity, and resistance to corrosion. Reports suggest that the demand for the metal has led to multiple ventures collaborating for the copper and copper semis value chain. All involved in multiple activities, such as mining, smelting, fire refining, electrolytic refining, melting, alloying, scraping, casting, and semis supply. 

The global demand for copper will grow at approximately 3-5% CAGR between 2021-2024. The electronics, transportation and construction sectors will be the major growth drivers for copper melting, mining, and supply. 

Europe and North America will witness a surge in demand for copper with the rise of industrial and electronic markets. Moreover, Asia will also witness an increase in metal demand because of the rising building segments in developing countries. While prices are expected to reduce in Q3 2022 because of recessionary fears, intelligence and industry updates depict a favorable market for the copper industry. 

Copper demand and supply have witnessed multiple opportunities and risks over the years. The copper market remained in deficit in 2021 as demand grew at a faster rate compared to production and supply. While geopolitical tensions in the EU portray an increase in price, the volatile situation in the Asian region, followed by the decrease in demand, favors a decrease in price. 

The sudden surge in demand in the copper market is because of the following reasons, as per reports.

  • Micro-alloyed copper conductors are more efficient than steel-reinforced aluminum (ACSR) or aluminum alloys. They provide several advantages, such as better energy efficiency, increased capacity, enhanced performance in harsh weather, simple installation, and minimal losses

  • Countries like the U.S. and China are trying to bring copper supply chains within their territories, especially after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their critical approach to sourcing minerals pertains to an increase in global copper supply and demand

  • No other mineral can replace copper and the cost of its alternatives, like aluminum, plastics, composites, etc., are relatively higher

  • Suppliers have invested in the research and development of new products made from copper that cater to the market demand depending on cost-cutting, sustainability, and efficiency

The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2019, heavily impacted every industry globally, including the copper procurement sector. The industry deteriorated, witnessed closures, zero supplies, etc., which created a downward fall in the mineral’s prices. The coronavirus outbreak also disrupted logistics that led to a shortage of trucks, drivers, and freight cars, with minimal activities at the ports. However, the EV sector and better scope of recycling predict an opportunist market in the foreseeable future.

The demand-supply equilibrium of the copper market remains stable as of now. Copper market research and other reports reveal that copper manufacturers resort to controlling the alloy composition at the casting stage, drafting annual or biennial contracts for integrated copper suppliers, and realizing cost savings during increasing price trends. The process helps maintain the equilibrium in the market without disrupting the global copper supply and demand. 

Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and China are presently involved in the copper market. China accounts for the largest share of the world’s copper semis production and holds around 48% of the global market share. The country is expected to have an added capacity of around 11.5 MMT of copper and copper semis between 2016 and 2021. Europe and North America are next in line with high market maturities and copper market prices. 

Recent reports suggest that price movement, input cost movement, supply-gap movement, and market competition are some of the primary factors to consider for copper supplier selection. 

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