2004 was a year of continued change in the global copper industry. Data from the International Copper Study Group showed that the global demand for refined copper reached a record high of 16.5 million tonne, 5.6% up on 2003.
In common with many commodities, 2005 was a year of dramatically rising market prices, largely fuelled by strong demand growth in China and other parts of Asia. Compared to the London Metal Exchange copper price of 2,869 $/T in 2004, the price was up 28% to 3,684 $/T in 2005.
2009 was a difficult year for the copper industry value chain in Europe. The global financial crisis, which resulted in a severe tightening of credit and reprioritised public sector spending, led to dramatic declines in housing starts, lower industry investment and a reduction in the sales of consumer goods, such as cars and electrical products.
2010 was a year of recovery in the copper business. Based on the most recent data from the International Copper Study Group1, European refined copper usage reached 4.18 million tonnes, up 8.7% from the depressed demand in 2009. With a close correlation between economic growth and copper usage, world demand reached 19.3 million tonnes, up 6.8% on 2009.
2011 was a challenging year for the copper industry. Largely as a result of low activity levels in many national construction markets, the International Copper Study Group* expects EU27 refined copper usage to be slightly below the 2010 total of 3.33 million tonnes. Demand in the rest of Europe will increase by 35%, driven mainly by Russian tariffs which favoured the export of wire-rod over cathodes. Globally, refined demand will be close to 20 million tonnes, up 3.6% on 2010.
2012 was a difficult year for the European copper industry. Due to a combination of Government austerity programs, stricter borrowing conditions for consumers and low activity levels, particularly in most national construction markets, the International Copper Study Group1 expects EU27 refined copper usage to be 3.1 million tonnes, 7% below the 2011 total. Globally, refined demand is expected to be around 20.7 million tonnes, up 4% on 2011.
ECI, November 2013
Global competition for resources is increasing. Supply concentration of resources, particularly critical raw materials outside the European Union, makes European industry and society dependent on imports and increasingly vulnerable to high prices, market volatility, and the political situation in supplying countries.
Our new Annual Report summarises the key regulatory and market issues impacting the competitiveness of the European copper industry and the demand for its products throughout 2013.
This year report is structured around two main sections, the first focuses on regulatory initiatives impacting the industry’s licence to operate. The second, which covers market access issues for products, shows how ECI’s work is aimed at defending and growing end-use demand.
In this new submission, ECI wishes to highlight aspects that are specific to the European copper sector. It concludes with a list of recommendations needed to safeguard the industry’s global competitiveness.
ECI, July 2014