China’s largest auto parts maker forecasts that Chinese demand for copper could surge another 12% this year.
Copper is used for wiring in buildings, infrastructure, cars, and appliances, thus says much about growth in the economy.
“Consumption is still strong,” driven by continued economic growth, said Sheng Weimin from the unit of Wanxiang Group, the country’s largest auto-parts maker. Demand, including refined and scrap copper, may climb to 8.96 million metric tons, said Sheng, who’s studied metals markets for more than 15 years.
“Demand from downstream consumers is very good, their order books are full, but they are buying hand-to-mouth because no one wants to hold too much inventory in these uncertain times,” Sheng said, referring to car parts and appliance makers.
This comes on the heels of Australian miner Rio Tinto forecasting that global demand for copper, plus iron ore and aluminium, will double over the next fifteen years.