BRICS Outperforms the US: Becomes Top Exporter of Copper

Vinod Dsouza
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The BRICS alliance has outperformed the US by a large margin in copper exports around the world for FY 2023-24. BRICS member China is leading the pack for copper exports as production doubled from the previous year compared to the US.

The latest customs data from Bloomberg shows that BRICS member China has exported unwrought copper translating to 150,000 tons. That exceeds more than 100% of production from the previous year and has doubled its exports for 2023-24. The spike in production and exports comes at a time when copper prices hit a record high of $5.10/lb.

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BRICS Outsmarts US: Turns Top Copper Exporter For the World

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The move has made BRICS country China outperform the US and other Western allies in copper production and exports. China now holds the highest market share for copper scrap exports by a wide margin compared to the US. The Communist country now supplies 37.20% of copper to the world while the US scrap copper exports stand at 27%.

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Therefore, BRICS member China is ahead by 10.2% in global copper exports compared to the US. The development puts the BRICS country in the driver’s seat in the growing metals market. Demand for copper is at its peak for industrial purposes and supply is scarce. The BRICS bloc gains the most out of this situation and pockets the majority of the metals market share leaving the US behind.

The prices of copper are also shooting through the roof and are looking to climb above the $10,000 mark again. BRICS remains in control of copper exports currently leaving the US distantly behind.

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As Bloomberg explained, “With Chinese smelters still delivering cathode into bonded warehouses owing to the open export arbitrage, it still feels too early to say we are at the bottom of the current copper price cycle,” said Colin Hamilton, Managing Director for Commodities Research at BMO Capital Markets.