CRU/CESCO-Electric cars no game changer for copper demand in short term – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – April 9, 2018)

SANTIAGO, April 9 (Reuters) – Copper bulls predicting a rapidly changing demand landscape due to the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and supply shortages are likely to be disappointed, as the amount of extra metal needed is expected to be small, at least over the next few years.

For some years now, copper producers have pushed the idea of surging copper demand as EV sales gain momentum due to governments and consumers around the world looking to cut carbon emissions from fossil-fuel cars.

The theme is likely to be a focus again at CESCO, consultancy CRU’s annual copper conference in Santiago this week, a gathering of senior executives from producing and consuming industries.

“While EVs are a great long-term story, demand is only expected to be around 1.5 percent of world refined copper consumption this year, and even five years out is unlikely to be anything more than 3 percent,” CRU analyst Robert Edwards said.

Copper, valued for conducting electricity, is used in the charging stations needed for electric vehicles and in the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power them.

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