LONDON – China's Belt and Road Initiative to boost trade and infrastructure in 64 countries is expected to help boost copper demand in those nations to 6.5-million tonnes a year by 2027, a conference was told on Friday.
That's a 22% increase from 2017 and about 10% higher than if China had not launched its initiative, according to data presented by Gu Liangmin, deputy MD of China Minmetals UK.
The increase is due to higher copper demand for power and transport infrastructure, such as power grids and railways, he told a presentation sponsored by the International Copper Association.
The forecast also includes indirect impacts, such as more electrical appliances and home construction made possible by the additional infrastructure.
Electricity consumption in the 64 countries is due to more than double from 1 600 kWh per capita per year in 2015 to 4 166 KWh by 2030, Gu said ahead of industry gathering London Metal Exchange Week kicking off Monday.
The 64 countries accounted for 43.5% of global population and 16.1% of world GDP in 2016, he added.
State-owned China Minmetals Corp bills itself as China's biggest and most international mining company and its UK unit is a trader in metals, minerals and metal fabricated products.
Minmetals is the biggest shareholder of MMG, which owns the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, among the 10 largest in the world.