Copper Market Dynamics in 2023
According to Nornickel’s report on the metals market, covering copper, nickel, and Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), the copper market has undergone a notable contraction in 2023. This change is largely attributed to a mix of global economic factors and varying demand in different regions. The report highlights a weakened demand in Europe and North America, contrasted with slower-than-expected growth in China’s market.
Detailed Copper Market Analysis
Looking forward, the supply of copper is expected to increase modestly over the next two years due to the emergence of new mining projects and refining capacities. Despite the current contraction, the copper market is projected to remain balanced through 2024. However, Nornickel anticipates that increasing long-term demand could necessitate the development of additional mining projects. Globally, a 2% global copper demand growth is expected in 2023, followed by a rise to 3% in 2024.
Nickel Market Trends
Turning to nickel, the report details a significant decline in prices in the latter half of 2023, with a drop of almost 50% year-to-date. This decrease stems from an increased production of low-grade nickel and a resultant market surplus, now estimated at over 250,000 tonnes. Contributing factors include reduced nickel usage in batteries, changes in electric vehicle (EV) battery technologies, and new production capacities in Indonesia. For 2024, a continued surplus is expected in the low-grade nickel market.
Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) Outlook
In the realm of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), palladium and platinum prices are facing fluctuations. The palladium market is experiencing reduced demand in electronics and a substitution trend with platinum, coupled with a decline in secondary production. This has led to a palladium market deficit of -0.9 million ounces for 2023, with a slightly smaller deficit projected for 2024. In contrast, the platinum market is moving towards a deficit due to increased industrial demand and reduced recycling, anticipating a -0.4 million ounces deficit this year. Uncertainties in primary supply from South Africa and North America are noted as potential influencers of future market dynamics.