Major Characteristics

Copper (chemical symbol - Cu) is a malleable and ductile metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is also corrosion resistant and antimicrobial.

It stands at the third place in context of the world consumption after steel and aluminium.

Copper is an important contributor to the national economies of mature, newly developed and developing countries.

Copper is one of the most recycled of all metals. It is our ability to recycle metals over and over again that makes them a material of choice.


Demand and Supply Scenario

  • In 2011, world mine production continued to underperform with respect to capacity and remained at the 2010 level of 16.005 million MT.
  • In 2011, global refined copper production was 19.630 million MT, up from 18.998 million MT in 2010. The global refined copper consumption was 19.988 million MT, compared with 19.375 million MT in the previous year.
  • On a regional basis, refined copper production increased in Africa (11%), Asia (6%), Europe (4.5%) and Oceania (12.5) but decreased in the Americas (-3.5%).

Global Scenario

  • While Chile accounts for 34% of the total world copper mine production, Peru, USA, China, Australia and Indonesia, together are responsible for around 32%.
  • Growth in refined copper usage has been especially strong in Asia, where demand has expanded more than five-fold in less than 30 years.
  • Major refined copper exporting countries are Chile, Zambia, Japan, Russia and Peru, while major refined copper importing countries are China, USA, Germany, Italy and Taiwan.

Indian Scenario

  • India's production of refined copper is approximately around 4% of the total world production and in terms of figures it is around 600,000 MT.
  • India's copper consumption increased at an annual rate of 6.3% to 540,000 MT in 2011, which accounted for only 2.8% of the world copper market.
  • Sterlite Industries, Hindalco, and Hindustan Copper are three major producers of copper in India. India is emerging as net exporter of copper from the status of net importer on account of rise in production.
  • Electric and electronic products industry has become the largest sector for consuming copper in India, accounting for 36% of the total Indian copper consumption.
  • Telecom is still India's second largest copper consuming sector, accounting for 20% of the total Indian copper consumption.

Factors Influencing the Market

  • Copper prices in India are fixed on the basis of the rates that rule on the international spot market, and Rupee and US Dollar exchange rates.
  • Economic events such as national industrial growth, global financial crisis, recession, and inflation affect metal prices.
  • Commodity-specific events such as the construction of new production facilities or processes, new uses or the discontinuance of historical uses, unexpected mine or plant closures (natural disaster, supply disruption, accident, strike, and so forth), or industry restructuring, all affect metal prices.
  • Governments set trade policy (implementation or suspension of taxes, penalties, and quotas) that affect supply by regulating (restricting or encouraging) material flow.
  • Geopolitical events involving governments or economic paradigms and armed conflict can cause major changes.
  • There is also a national economic growth factor. Societies, as they develop, demand metals in a way that depends on their current economic position.

Copper Mini :

February 2013 Contract Onwards