Which Country Exports the Most Unwrought Refined Copper in the World?

Basic Precious Metals May 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

In 2016, the global refined copper exports amounted to 9.2M tonnes, stabilizing at the previous year figure. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.2% from 2007 to 2016; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being observed over the period under review. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009, when export increased by 14% year-to-year. Global refined copper export peaked of 9.3M tonnes in 2015, falling back in the following year.

In value terms, refined copper exports stood at $47B in 2016. Overall, refined copper exports continue to indicate a moderate setback. Over the period under review, global refined copper exports attained its maximum level of $76B in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Refined Copper Exporting Countries in the World

1. Chile (12.8 billion USD)

2. Japan (3.1 billion USD)

3. Russia (2.4 billion USD)

4. Australia (2.2 billion USD)

5. Kazakhstan (1.8 billion USD)

6. Zambia (1.7 billion USD)

7. Congo (1.6 billion USD)

8. India (1.5 billion USD)

9. Peru (1.4 billion USD)

10. South Korea (1.3 billion USD)

11. Poland (1.3 billion USD)

12. Canada (1.1 billion USD)

Refined Copper Exports By Country

Chile (2.6M tonnes) was the major exporter of refined copper in the world, resulting at 2.6M tonnes, which was approx. 28% of total exports in 2016. Japan (637K tonnes) ranks second globally in refined copper exports with a 7% share, following Russia (6%), and Australia (5%). Kazakhstan (402K tonnes), Zambia (334K tonnes), Congo (327K tonnes), India (306K tonnes), Peru (283K tonnes), South Korea (269K tonnes), Poland (258K tonnes), and Canada (225K tonnes) took the minor share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2016, average annual rates of growth with regard to refined copper exports from Chile stood at -1.6%. At the same time, Congo (+72.6%), Russia (+6.8%), South Korea (+6.2%), Australia (+4.7%), Japan (+3.7%), India (+3.4%), Zambia (+1.3%), and Kazakhstan (+1.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Congo emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +72.6% from 2007-2016. Poland experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Peru (-1.9%), and Canada (-3.3%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. Chile (5%) significantly strengthened its position in terms of the global exports, while Australia, Japan, Russia, and Congo saw its share reduced by -1.7%, -1.9%, -2.5%, and -3.5% from 2007 to 2016, respectively. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Chile ($13B) remains the largest refined copper supplier in the world, making up 27% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($3.1B), with the share of 7% of global exports. It was followed by Russia, with the share of 5%.

In Chile, refined copper exports shrank by an average annual rate of -5.2% over the period from 2007-2016. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Japan (-0.8% per year) and Russia (+2.8% per year).

Refined Copper Export Prices By Country

In 2016, the average export price for refined copper amounted to $5,081 per tonne, shrinking by -10.5% against the previous year. Overall, refined copper export price continues to indicate a noticeable reduction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010, when it surged by 39% y-o-y. Over the period under review, average refined copper export price attained its maximum level of $8,612 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Average export prices varied noticeably amongst major exporting countries. In 2016, major exporting countries recorded the following export prices: in Zambia ($4,981 per tonne) and Poland ($4,962 per tonne), while Kazakhstan ($4,536 per tonne) and Russia ($4,703 per tonne) were among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of refined copper export prices was attained by Congo (-1.8% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the export price figures.

Do you want to know more about global refined copper market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • refined copper market share
  • refined copper prices
  • refined copper industry
  • refined copper sales
  • refined copper import
  • refined copper export
  • refined copper market forecast
  • refined copper price forecast
  • key refined copper producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 7403 - Copper; refined and copper alloys, unwrought.

Source: World: Refined Copper (Unwrought, Not Alloyed) - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025