In 1995, China accounted for 10 percent of world copper consumption. By 2014, China accounted for about 49 percent of world copper consumption. This change has affected global copper and copper scrap prices, the sources of copper supply, and U.S. trade of copper-containing materials.
This report considers changes to the copper and copper scrap industries of the United States. For the study period, 1995 through 2014, U.S. refined copper production from all sources (primary and secondary materials) decreased from 2.28 million metric tons (Mt) of copper to 1.05 Mt (a 54 percent decrease). During the same period, U.S. copper scrap net exports increased from 0.203 Mt to 0.737 Mt (a 263 percent increase and a compound annual growth rate of about 7.0 percent per year). Copper and copper scrap prices (in constant 2014 dollars) rose such that 2014 prices were about 48 percent greater than 1995 prices. From 1995 through 2014, Chinese imports of copper scrap from the United States grew from 0.061 Mt to 0.569 Mt (an increase of about 830 percent and a compound annual growth rate of about 12.5 percent per year). In 2011, Chinese imports of U.S. copper scrap peaked at 0.745 Mt of contained copper. In 1995, Chinese imports of U.S. copper scrap accounted for 17 percent of U.S. copper scrap exports. By 2014, Chinese imports accounted for 69 percent of U.S. copper scrap exports (by weight), and Chinese imports of U.S. copper scrap were valued at $1.45 billion.
Goonan, T.G., 2016, United States copper metal and scrap use and trade patterns, 1995–2014: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5075, 10 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165075.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
ISSN: 2328-031X (print)
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||United States copper metal and scrap use and trade patterns, 1995‒2014|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||National Minerals Information Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|