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Chinese copper demand to reach 8Mt a year

China’s intensity of use of metals will increase as more and more Chinese become ‘urbanised’

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">China’s intensity of use of metals will increase as more and more Chinese become ‘urbanised’, according to Scotia Capital analyst Onno Rutten.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">Rutten was speaking at the Prospectors and Developers of Canada convention in Toronto, where he forecast per capita consumption of copper could double by 2015, to around 12-14 kg.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">At present, China needs around 4 Mt/y of copper, or 26% of world demand of some 17.5 Mt/y.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">If intensity of use in China does increase in line with Rutten’s forecast, then Chinese demand by 2015 would be close to 8 Mt, equivalent to almost half current world demand.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">Mr Rutten said that India’s demand for copper would also increase significantly. Its current requirement equates to about 2.5% of world demand, but by 2015 this could be 4-5%.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">On the supply side, Rutten said global proven and&nbsp;probable reserves of copper were sufficient to last for 28 years at current consumption rates.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">But&nbsp; the number of new projects in the development stage was very limited and the project pipeline barely adequate to supply the market.</font>

<font face="arial, geneva, helvetica" size="2">Copper inventories remain very low and the market will remain volatile for the rest of the year.&nbsp; Scotia Capital is expecting a copper price average of US$2.27/lb for 2007.<br></font>

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