Trafigura Forecasts 1 Million Ton Boost In Copper Demand By 2030 Driven By AI

Trafigura expects a surge in copper demand by 2030, projecting a rise of 1 million tons largely driven by the growing impact of AI
Copper (Representational Image)
Copper (Representational Image)

As artificial intelligence steadily extends its roots, its influence can possibly change the conventional supply and demand chain in the digital era. Trafigura (a commodity trading company) forecasts that the demand for copper, largely driven by AI and data centers, could increase by as much as one million metric tons by 2030, potentially worsening supply shortfalls by this decade.

The shift towards renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles is projected to drive an increase in copper usage in the coming years, according to a report by Reuters.

This year, global copper demand is estimated to hit nearly 26 million tons. A recent survey by Reuters released earlier this year suggests that by 2025, the copper market deficit could exceed 100,000 tons, compared to the current shortage of 35,000 tons.

Currently, China leads the world as both the largest producer and consumer of copper, and it also controls much of the global supply of other industrial metals essential for the energy transition. This dominance is a source of concern for Western countries that are aiming to reach their net-zero targets. In line with the Paris Agreement, the target to limit global warming to 1.5°C requires a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, followed by reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

According to the International Copper Association, renewable energy systems often contain six times more copper compared to traditional systems. The metal stands out as a top renewable resource owing to its recyclability. It can be reused multiple times without any loss in performance.

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