Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, Bloomberg
London: Copper demand will grow about 3.5% this year, matching last year’s increase, said Vedanta Resources Plc, India’s largest producer of the metal.
“Asia is currently the fastest-growing copper market in the world and is expected to grow even more strongly, dominated by its use in electric wires and cables,” the London-based company said today in its full-year earnings statement.
Global copper consumption climbed to 17.5 million tons last year, the company said. Asia and Western Europe account for nearly 72% of demand, it added. At the current rate of demand growth, the world will need an additional 750,000 tons of copper each year, 500,000 tons of zinc, and two million tons of aluminum, Vedanta said,
Charges for processing copper concentrate into metal have fallen this year as the raw material for copper production has moved into a “deficit” following lower mine output globally, the company said. Vedanta said it has secured most of its copper feed in long-term contracts.
Vedanta’s copper sales in India increased 10% to 117,000 tons in the year ended 31 March, due to demand from the electrical and power sector, the company said. The nation’s refined-metal consumption has increased at a compound annual rate of 8.9% between 2001 and 2006, Vedanta said.
The company said it exported 195,000 tons of refined copper and rods to the Middle Ease, China, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.
Demand for aluminum will rise 8.4% “in the coming years,” matching last year’s growth, Vedanta said. It estimated last year’s consumption was 34.7 million tons. In India, the demand growth rate has been 12% between 2001 and 2006, the company said.
The electrical-application sector is the largest end user of aluminum in India, consuming about 35% of last year’s production, the company said. The transport sector accounted for 22%.
Global zinc consumption will expand around 6.6% this year from 11.3 million tons last year, Vedanta said. The metal, used to galvanize steel, will be boosted by the automotive and parts industries, it said. Global production will rise 9.4% to 11.6 million tons this year, the company said.
India’s use of zinc expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 9% between 2003 and 2006, according to Vedanta. The galvanizing sector accounts for about 70% of domestic use, the company said.