China's Dominance As a Global Consumer and Producer of Copper

Executive Briefings on Trade (USITC), 2012

2 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019

See all articles by Alexander B. Hammer

Alexander B. Hammer

U.S. International Trade Commission

Lin Jones

U.S. International Trade Commission

Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

China is now the world’s largest consumer and producer of copper. Its demand for the commodity has soared in tandem with the country’s industrialization process, given copper’s extensive use in infrastructure (e.g., plumbing, telecommunication wiring, and building materials) and manufacturing equipment (e.g., electric power generation and transmission equipment). To meet its growing copper demand over the last decade, China has imported increasing amounts of copper ores (mostly from Latin America) and copper waste/scrap (mostly from the United States) for domestic processing, which is either locally consumed or re-exported. Given China’s dominance as both a global consumer and supplier of copper, changes in China’s domestic market conditions can markedly influence copper’s world price – as evidenced by the commodity’s recent price decreases that were triggered by deteriorating Chinese property market conditions. Understanding China’s role on global copper markets is relevant for U.S. firms, since the United States is the world’s largest supplier of copper waste/scrap, and copper waste/scrap now represents the United States’ third-largest export to China.

Keywords: China, copper

JEL Classification: E00, F00

Suggested Citation

Hammer, Alexander B. and Jones, Lin, China's Dominance As a Global Consumer and Producer of Copper (August 1, 2012). Executive Briefings on Trade (USITC), 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3370573

Alexander B. Hammer (Contact Author)

U.S. International Trade Commission ( email )

500 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20436
United States
(202) 205-3271 (Phone)

Lin Jones

U.S. International Trade Commission ( email )

500 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20436
United States

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