Global demand for copper is expected to broadly meet supply in 2016 and 2017, while there is a chance of stronger-than-expected consumption in top user China, an industry body said on Friday.
The International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) sees a modest 120 000 t deficit this year, narrowing to 60 000 t in 2017.
“Forecasts therefore suggest that in both 2016 and 2017 the copper market will be broadly balanced,” the IWCC said in a statement.
Refined copper production in 2016 is expected to rise 2% from the year before to 22.38-million tonnes, while global demand for refined copper will climb 2.6% to 22.26-million tonnes.
For 2017, the body sees refined copper output at 22.77-million tonnes, growing 1.7% compared with 2016, with demand climbing 2% to 22.71-million tonnes.
Demand in top consumer China is set to hit 10.5-million tonnes this year, up 4.1% on last year, with 2.4% growth next year to 10.75-million tonnes.
“There is perhaps more upside demand potential in China in 2017 than the figure might suggest,” the IWCC said, without giving details.
Meanwhile, demand for refined copper in the European Union is forecast to increase 0.5% to 3.15-million tonnes this year, rising to 3.19-million tonnes in 2017.
The IWCC sees slightly lower demand from Japan and the United States in 2016, although that will stabilise next year in Japan and recover in the United States to 1.82-million tonnes.
Global copper mine production this year is expected to grow 1.4% to 19.2-million tonnes, rising another 2.1% to 19.61-million tonnes in 2017.