Global copper market under supplied, demand on the rise
Global refined copper consumption will register steady growth over the coming years, driven by demand from the power industry, rising electric vehicle (EV) production and a positive global economic growth outlook, a new copper supply and demand outlook by Fitch Solutions shows.
Fitch forecasts that global copper demand will increase from 23.6mnt in 2018 to 29 .8mnt by 2027, at 2.6% annual growth.
But the global copper market will see persistent undersupply in the coming years, as global consumption, driven by China’s power and infrastructure sectors and increasing EV production, continues to outpace supply growth, Fitch warns.
Based on Fitch’s data, global refined copper demand will outpace production and the market will be in deficit over the next few years. Fitch specifically forecasts the global refined copper balance to register a deficit of 247kt in 2018, and to remain under-supplied through to 2021.
Mining companies are searching worldwide for copper projects amid the forecasts that demand for the red metal will significantly outstrip supply from 2020 (there are 300kg of copper in an electric bus and nine tonnes per windfarm megawatt).
That is the short-term forecast, but over the long term, Fitch expects the global copper deficit to shrink, and predicts that the market will shift to oversupply, as copper producers invest in new projects and output increases.