• India’s copper import bill increased 20 per cent year on year in FY23 in value terms to ₹ 27,131 crore (₹ 21,985 crore) following a post Covid economic recovery and improved demand, especially driven by electric vehicles and renewable energy segments.
  • Copper demand is said to have a direct correlation with economic activities considering its wide usage across construction, home appliances and other sectors.
  • According to a report from ICRA, refined copper imports increased 30 per cent in FY23 (by volume) and 180 per cent in H1 FY24.
  • India’s current refined copper production capacity is 5.55 lakh tonnes (FY 2022-23), making it the 10th largest producer of the metal, as per government estimates.
  • Incidentally, copper is one of the 30 critical minerals identified by the Centre, earlier this year.
  • Domestic refined copper demand growth is expected to remain at around 11 percent in FY24 and FY25, as per ICRA estimates, thereby outpacing the rate of global growth in copper demand.
  • In India, some 40 per cent of the copper is consumed by infrastructure and construction sectors, and 11-13 per cent each by automobile and consumer durable sectors.
  • Push for affordable housing and EVs also propels the demand. However, a new copper smelter of 0.5 million MT (mmt) by the Adani Group is expected to start from FY25 onwards, which, once stabilized, is likely to reduce the deficit situation to an extent.

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