The World Bank (WB) projects that copper prices will start rising in 2017, reaching USD4,866, USD5,092 in 2018 and USD5,329 in 2019.
This was indicated in the WB July 2016 Commodities Outlook.
The Bank expects that copper prices will fall by 18.5%, from USD5,510 in 2015 to USD4,650 in 2016, due to expected production surplus and decrease in Chinese demand.
However prices will rise to USD5,577 in 2020, and USD7,000 in 2025.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry, which contributes around 10% to Zambia’s GDP and accounts for 60% of the country’s total exports.
Zambia is among the main copper producers in the world and in Africa, ranking 8th in the World (China 1st) and 2nd in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Zambia’s copper production volumes were 710,560t in 2015 and 708,000t in 2014. In 2015, China produced close to 8m t of copper, while the DRC produced 775,000t. In a recent report titled “Zambia: Buffeted From All Sides”, the Institute of International Finance (IIF), indicates that copper production in Zambia is expected to rise steadily over the next few years despite the low prices.
The official target for copper production in Zambia is about 1.5m t per annum by 2017, while the IIF projects a 5% rise in 2016 to 746,000t thanks to increased copper output of new mines.