China’s Copper Demand Seen by Pan Pacific Growing 4-5% Next Year

Pan Pacific Copper Co., Japan’s biggest copper producer, expects demand in China will grow by 4 percent to 5 percent next year because of infrastructure and transportation, said Yosuke Murao, general manager in the company’s marketing department.

The growth will be little changed from this year’s pace of 4 percent, Murao said in an interview in London today. Copper will trade from $8,000 to $9,000 a metric ton, he said.

Production will exceed demand and leave a “small surplus” of about 200,000 tons next year, he said. This year’s shortage may come to 50,000 tons, he said. China accounts for 41 percent of global copper demand, Barclays Plc estimates.

The Tokyo-based company this month offered a 15 percent cut in next year’s premium for refined metal to clients in China and Taiwan. The fee will be reduced to $85 a ton over the price of the metal for immediate delivery on the LME, two executives with knowledge of the pricing said Oct. 4. The company is a venture between JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp. and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co.

Copper for delivery in three months has climbed 8.1 percent this year to $8,220 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.

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