China has now developed to be the world largest country for copper consumption, processing & manufacture and even for copper primary products export. The year of 2005 witnessed a growth of world copper ore and refined copper in output, reaching 14.98 million tons and 16.34 million tons respectively, both up 3.1%. Meanwhile, China also made a great progress in copper output and consumption in 2005. The output amounted to 2.53 million tons, increasing by 23% year on year.
Copper industry has experienced a rapid development but still can't satisfy the demands. In 2005, only 73.7% of refined copper can be self-supported, so 1.082 million tons of refined copper and 68,000 tons of copper alloys had to be imported. The supply-demand gap and shortage of raw materials resulted in the rise in copper price. The average price rose 26% to RMB 35254 per ton at home in 2005 while that in the international market increased by 28.4%. All these factors accelerated the growth in profit and investment in domestic copper smelting industry, each up 92.4% and 130.2%.
Copper and Copper Alloys Import of China, Jan-Sep 2006(unit: ton)
In the first half of 2006, China's copper products totaled at 2.4232 million tons, increased by 7.99% compared to the same period of 2005. As the domestic price was lower than that in the international market, the total imports of copper dropped by 43.7% to 389,560 tons over the same period of 2005, among which 65,521 tons of refined copper were imported in June, down 52.3% over June 2005.
After 26 years of development since reform and opening policy, China national economy will still remain a rapid growth in a long run and so does copper consumption due to the potential drives from three industries including power, appliance and construction.
According to nearly 20 years of statistics on copper raw material import structure and average copper consumption and growth, the copper consumption in China will be expected to keep growing at an average rate of 5%-10% in 2006-2010 and then reach a peak in 2015-2020.