IWCC Short-Term Forecasts for Copper

The International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) has completed its latest six monthly review of the copper market and has finalised its forecasts for copper supply and demand.

Using publicly available information and input from ICSG, the supply side forecasts suggest that in 2018 copper mine production was 20.43 million tonnes.  In 2019 mine output is expected to decrease by 0.7% to 20.29 million tonnes.  For 2020, an increase in copper mine production of 1.7% is forecast.  Refined copper production in 2018 was 23.63 million tonnes.  For 2019, refined copper production is forecast to be 23.55 million tonnes and might be 24.19 million tonnes in 2020.

The demand side forecasts were prepared by the IWCC.  Global reported refined copper demand in 2018 increased by 3.3% to 23.87 million tonnes.  For 2019 the forecasts suggest that refined copper demand might be 23.91 million tonnes, slightly up on 2018.  For 2020, demand for refined copper might increase by 1.2% to 24.20 million tonnes.

In the EU-28, demand for refined copper in 2018 was 3.235 million tonnes, up 2.3% compared with 2017.  A decrease in refined copper demand of 6.7% is forecast for 2019 for this region.  However, in 2020, refined copper demand might increase by 1.7% to 3.07 million tonnes.

For China, in 2018 the IWCC estimates reported (or real) demand for refined copper to have increased by 6.1% to 11.872 million tonnes.   For 2019, the forecasts currently suggest reported demand in China might be 12.09 million tonnes, up 1.8% compared with 2018.  For 2020, reported demand is expected to be remain flat at 12.09 million tonnes.

The latest data for Japan suggests that refined copper demand in 2019 might be 995 thousand tonnes, down 1.6% compared with 2018.  For 2020, a small increase of 0.5% to 1 million tonnes has been forecast.

For the USA for 2018, demand for refined copper was 1.81 million tonnes.  Some growth in refined copper demand is expected for 2019 and for 2020, where demand next year might be 1.86 million tonnes.

The IWCC data suggests there might be a statistical deficit of statistical deficit of 359 thousand tonnes in 2019.  For 2020, the forecasts suggest a move to a broadly balanced market.