According to analysts, copper consumption is likely to get a boost from the electrification of vehicles, as new vehicles consume more copper than diesel or gasoline cars, and also because the construction of a battery recharge infrastructure encourages the creation of underground power lines.
On average, about 55 kg of copper is used in the production of an electric car, which is 2-3 times more than on traditional vehicles copper consumption. According to data from the Chinese Association of Passenger Cars (CPCA), in the first 6 months of the year, 577 thousand units of electric sedans were produced in China, as well as sports and multi-purpose vehicles, which generally consumed about 32 thousand tons of copper.
Next year, the forecast for the use of copper in the production of electric vehicles is about 100 thousand tons, which means an increase in production by more than 50%. Bloomberg experts predict that by 2030 there will be 119-136 million direct-flow fast-charging points in the world, while 25 kg of copper will be spent on arranging one point. It is assumed that, excluding the laying of underground lines, the creation of charging points will consume almost 60 thousand tons of copper per year.
The development of the 5G mobile communications sector also stimulates the consumption of “red metal” – due to the construction of base stations and data centers, as well as the production of equipment.
China Mobile, licensed to build 5G networks for commercial use, plans to build more than 50 thousand 5G base stations in China in 2019, which will require 600 tons of copper, since 12 kg of copper is required per station. To create a national 5G network, China will need, according to estimates, to create about 6 million base stations, which will require 72 thousand tons of copper.
Experts also note that the equipment for 5G creates the conditions for the growing copper consumption.
At the same time, analysts note that in the short term, 5G and electric transport sectors are likely to stimulate copper consumption only to a limited extent.
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