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China’s National Power Grid Will Buoy Copper Use, Macquarie Says

China’s spending on a national power grid may account for 50 percent of the increase in the country’s overall copper demand next year, Macquarie Group Ltd. said.

China’s overall copper demand is forecast to rise about 440,000 metric tons to 7.74 million tons in 2011, while the national grid copper usage may rise from at least 700,000 tons to over 1 million tons, Macquarie analyst Max Layton wrote in a report dated tomorrow. Aluminum demand from the national grid may rise by 500,000 to 1 million tons next year to 2.5 million or 3 million tons, he wrote.

Separately, regulatory approval in the U.S. and U.K. for an exchange-traded product for copper may be approved late in the first quarter of 2011 “at the earliest,” according to the report.

Power lines contain copper in transformers and aluminum in power cables and semiconductors as transformers, according to Macquarie.

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