An industry analyst last week noted the continuing power shortage in the People’s Republic of China and forecast that the situation is likely to bump demand for both aluminium and copper in the coming months.
According to a report released by ANZ, upgrades to the country’s power grid have been in the works, but rampant shortages in Sichuan province have placed a much greater urgency on their completion, particularly the projects that are to utilize renewable resources. China’s current goal is to build out 1,200 gigawatts of renewable energy within the next three years.
ANZ predicted a demand growth for aluminium in the Middle Kingdom is expected to increase by 3.1 percent for the year, which is an upward revision to their prediction of a 2.6 percent demand growth. For 2023, the analyst said the demand growth for aluminium could jump by up to 4 percent.
“The investment in ultra-high-voltage lines to take renewable energy to China’s major population centres is a big opportunity for the aluminium industry.”
“This should see the deficit widen, putting further upside pressure on aluminium prices,” the report continued.
Output from Chinese aluminium smelters continues to rise significantly, thanks in part to subsidies from Beijing. China has been called on the carpet by several countries and trade associations over the past several years, and many countries have gone so far as to assess certain Chinese aluminium exporters retaliatory tariffs on raw aluminium and value-added aluminium, including the United States.
ANZ also expects a boon for copper demand in China as well. The planned buildout is likely to push demand up by one million metric tons per annum. Demand growth for copper is predicted to be 3.6 percent over the course of this year (up from an estimate of 2.2 percent in previous reports), and it could rise as high as 6.5 percent next year.