Copper Buying by India to Quadruple
Indian Copper imports are on a rise, a direct linkage from the closed Vedanta Smelter. Copper imports by India are about to rise fourfold as the shuttering of a huge smelter in the south of the country slashes local supply at a time when demand is starting to accelerate. Asia’s third-biggest economy is facing shortages after a state government ordered a 400,000-ton smelter owned by billionaire Anil Agarwals Vedanta Ltd. to be closed permanently in the wake of deadly protests over alleged pollution. Even if top producer Hindalco Industries Ltd. boosts its run rate, it won’t help much because a third of its output is committed for export.
Consumption in India is set to expand more than 15 percent to 535,000 tons through March, Jagasheth said. Demand will continue rising, reaching almost 2 million tons a year in the next decade, driven by infrastructure, power and railways, Hindalco estimated last year. Overseas purchases of refined metal are set to climb to 170,000 metric tons in the year through March from about 40,000 tons in the prior 12 months.
Meanwhile, Bank of Montreal (BMO) has raised their long-term equilibrium price forecast for copper to $3.25/lb., in line with current prices, citing higher demand growth for copper from the emerging prominence of renewable energy.