The price of copper has soared in recent years, partly caused by the heavy demand for copper from emerging economies like China and India. As a result, the value of imports and exports of copper also increased notably.
Import prices refined copper tripled
Last year, the Netherlands imported copper and copper objects worth 2 billion euro. Over one third of total copper imports consists of refined copper. In 2006, the average import price of copper was 5.16 euro per kilogram, as against 1.68 euro in 1996. Copper wire, making up 10 percent of total copper imports, also became much more expensive in recent years.
Import prices refined copper and copper wire
Chile main copper supplier
Chile is the world’s largest copper supplier. More than one quarter of copper imported into the Netherlands comes from Chile. In 1996, Chile’s share in Dutch copper imports was only about 1 percent. In the past, Germany was the principal supplier of copper, but Germany’s share was reduced to 26 percent in 2006.
Chile mainly exports refined copper. Russia also exports refined copper. Other countries like Germany and Belgium mainly export copper objects.
Copper imports by region
Sharp increase in exports to China
Last year, 21 percent of the value of Dutch copper exports went to China, as opposed to less than 4 percent in 1996. China imported mainly scrap and waste: 122 thousand tons in 2006. The value of Dutch copper exports totalled 1.3 billion euro in 2006. Germany is the largest importer.
Copper exports by region