Which Country Imports the Most Copper Ores and Concentrates in the World?

Uranium And Thorium Ores May 28, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

Which Country Imports the Most Copper Ores and Concentrates in the World?

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Copper Ores And Concentrates - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025". Here is a summary of the report's key findings.

In 2016, approx. 35M tonnes of copper ore were imported worldwide- picking up by 9% against the previous year level. Overall, it indicated a strong increase from 2007 to 2016: the total imports volume increased at an average annual rate of +5.6% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, copper ore imports increased by +63.8% against its level of 2007. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013, when imports increased by 16% year-to-year. Global copper ore import peaked in 2016, and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, copper ore imports amounted to $42B in 2016. Overall, it indicated a modest expansion from 2007 to 2016: the total imports value increased at an average annual rate of +5.6% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, copper ore imports decreased by -24.8% against its level of 2013. Global copper ore import peaked of $56B in 2013- however, from 2014 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Copper Ore Importing Countries in the World

1. China (20.9 billion USD)

2. Japan (7.4 billion USD)

3. South Korea (2.8 billion USD)

4. India (2.5 billion USD)

5. Spain (2.3 billion USD)

6. Germany (1.6 billion USD)

7. Bulgaria (0.9 billion USD)

8. Brazil (0.7 billion USD)

9. Russia (0.1 billion USD)

10. Australia (0.0 billion USD)

Copper Ore Imports By Country

China (17M tonnes) represented the major importing country with an import of around 17M tonnes, which resulted at 48% of total imports. Japan (5.1M tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, distantly followed by Australia (2.3M tonnes), and Spain (1.9M tonnes). All these countries together took approx. 26% share of total imports. The following importers - South Korea (1.6M tonnes), Germany (1.1M tonnes), India (1M tonnes), Bulgaria (756K tonnes), Brazil (555K tonnes), and Russia (550K tonnes) together made up 16% of total imports.

Imports into China increased at an average annual rate of +15.8% from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, Russia (+27.2%), Spain (+7.3%), Bulgaria (+3.9%), Australia (+1.7%), Brazil (+1.6%), and South Korea (+1.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Russia emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +27.2% from 2007-2016. Japan experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Germany (-2.3%), and India (-7.8%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2016, the share of India increased by 3% percentage points, while Spain (-2.5%), and China (-35.4%) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($21B) constitutes the largest market for imported copper ore worldwide, making up 49% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($7.4B), with the share of 18% of global imports. It was followed by South Korea, with the share of 7%.

In China, copper ore imports stood at an average annual rate of +10.0% over the period from 2007-2016. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Japan (-4.1% per year) and South Korea (-1.8% per year).

Copper Ore Import Prices By Country

In 2016, the average import price for copper ore amounted to $1,209 per tonne, coming down by -14.1% against the previous year. Overall, copper ore import price continues to indicate a significant decrease. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2010, when import increased by 45% y-o-y. Over the period under review, average copper ore import price reached its maximum level of $2,241 per tonne in 2011- however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst major importing countries. In 2016, the country with the highest import prices was India ($2,424 per tonne), while Australia ($19 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of copper ore import prices was attained by Australia (+22.8% per year), while the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

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

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

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 2603 - Copper ores and concentrates.

Source: World: Copper Ores And Concentrates - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025