Slowing China Spells Weak Copper Outlook

The rise in China's share of global commodity consumption in the past 15 years has been remarkable. But now the Chinese economy is slowing the impact is being felt

Morningstar Equity Analysts 4 December, 2015 | 8:23AM

Copper demand growth had been decelerating since the 1960s, a reflection of not only slower economic growth globally, but also the world economy becoming less copper-intensive. This trend reversed in the 1990s as Chinese growth began to accelerate after languishing for decades.

China consumed 4.7% of global copper in 1970. By 2014, that number had swelled to nearly 50%

The rise in China's share of global commodity consumption in the past 15 years has been remarkable. China's share of steel demand has ballooned to 45% from 9% since 1990 and coal to 49% from 23%. Although consumption share growth has not been as pronounced in copper, the trend is still the same.

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