Global copper investment horizon outlook - Q3 2023
Volatility and uncertainty will be a feature of the copper market over the short-to-medium-term shaped by the impact of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. Manufacturing, the key driver for copper demand, is suffering an extended slump while labour markets and services enjoy a period of buoyancy. For now, demand from energy transition-related end-uses and a recovering auto sector appear to be propping up cathode consumption. Although we are entering an uncertain period for copper, with declining prices and emerging surpluses, projects are still required to come on stream. Indeed beyond 2025, and against a backdrop of still steady demand, the pace of base case mine supply growth starts to falter. Given the long lead times required to bring new capacity into production, producers must act now to avoid significant shortfalls in the market. Crucially, scrap will also need to play a more significant role if the industry is to meet its decarbonisation goals and aspirations.