Which Country Imports the Most Unrefined Copper and Copper Anodes in the World?

Basic Precious Metals May 28, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

Global copper imports totaled 2M tonnes in 2016, moving up by 5% against the previous year figure. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% over the period from 2007 to 2016; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2013, an increase of 10% year-to-year. Over the period under review, global copper imports reached its maximum volume in 2016, and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, copper imports amounted to $8.8B in 2016. Overall, it indicated a modest growth from 2007 to 2016: the total imports value increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, copper imports decreased by -12.4% against its level of 2012. Global copper import peaked of $10B in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Copper Importing Countries in the World

1. China (3,317.7 million USD)

2. Turkey (1,371.8 million USD)

3. Belgium (1,360.4 million USD)

4. India (491.4 million USD)

5. Germany (411.2 million USD)

6. Canada (366.2 million USD)

7. South Korea (344.8 million USD)

8. Australia (332.3 million USD)

9. Japan (22.2 million USD)

10. Bulgaria (4.7 million USD)

11. Peru (0.2 million USD)

12. Dominican Republic (0.0 million USD)

Copper Imports By Country

China (609K tonnes) represented the major importing country with an import of about 609K tonnes, which recorded 31% of total imports. Belgium (225K tonnes) took a 11% share (based on tonnes) of global copper imports, which put it in second place, following Bulgaria (6%), and the Dominican Republic (5%). The following importers - Turkey (87K tonnes), India (79K tonnes), Canada (68K tonnes), Germany (64K tonnes), South Korea (62K tonnes), Australia (55K tonnes), Japan (54K tonnes), and Peru (52K tonnes) together made up 26% of total imports.

Imports into China increased at an average annual rate of +15.0% from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, India (+33.3%), Australia (+11.6%), Turkey (+10.8%), Germany (+8.0%), Peru (+1.2%), and the Dominican Republic (+1.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, India emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +33.3% from 2007-2016. Belgium experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Japan (-3.1%), Bulgaria (-3.2%), Canada (-4.4%), and South Korea (-5.2%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. Bulgaria (2%), South Korea (2%), and Canada (2%) significantly strengthened its position in terms of the global imports, while Germany, Australia, Turkey, India, and China saw its share reduced by -1.6%, -1.8%, -2.7%, -3.7%, and -22.2% from 2007 to 2016, respectively. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($3.3B) constitutes the largest market for imported copper worldwide, making up 38% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Turkey ($1.4B), with the share of 16% of global imports. It was followed by Belgium, with the share of 15%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual growth rate of value of copper imports in China stood at +11.7%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Turkey (+20.7% per year) and Belgium (-1.8% per year).

Copper Import Prices By Country

In 2016, the average import price for copper amounted to $4,464 per tonne, growing by 2% against the previous year. Overall, copper import price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010, when it surged by 44% from the previous year level. Global copper import peaked of $5,859 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 Turkey ($16 per kg), while the Dominican Republic ($0 per kg) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of copper import prices was attained by Turkey (+8.9% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

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

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

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 7402 - Copper; unrefined, copper anodes for electrolytic refining.

Source: World: Unrefined Copper And Copper Anodes For Electrolytic Refining - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025