India’s copper import rises 26 per cent in Q1; momentum expected to continue further: Report

NEW DELHI: India’s copper import which increased 26 per cent to 60,766 tonne in June quarter of 2021-22 is expected to rise further in the remaining part of the financial year with economic activity witnessing a strong recovery from COVID-related restrictions, International Copper Association said.
It said that country’s copper imports may touch 3 lakh tonne as economic growth picks up momentum despite adequate domestic capacity to meet the rising demand.
“In the first quarter of FY22, India’s copper imports shot up by 26 cent to 60,766 tonne from 48,105 tonne in the same period last year even as the nation was in the grip of second COVID wave with multiple lockdowns,” it said.
“The demand for the crucial metal, which is a key input for multiple sectors, is expected to see a further rise in the remaining part of the financial year with economic activity witnessing a strong recovery from COVID related restrictions,” it added.
India ended the last financial year with copper imports of 2,33,671 tonne. With 26-30 per cent growth, imports are likely to be in the range of 295,000 -304,000 tonne for the current financial year, the association added.
“It is disheartening to see imports rising so steeply and other nations gaining at our expense even though we have adequate domestic production capacity to meet our domestic demand,” International Copper Association Director Mayur Karmakar said.
“We are witnessing a strong increase in imports of copper into the country. Even though the first quarter of this financial year had multiple lockdowns and various restrictions imposed across several states due to the second COVID wave, copper imports grew by a robust 26 per cent as compared to the same quarter last year,” Karmakar said.
He said given the strong demand emanating from various sectors, copper imports may increase by 30 per cent year-on-year between July and March. “With the economy opening up and lockdown restrictions being eased in most parts of the country, we see a further spurt in demand as manufacturing and other sectors gain momentum,” he added.
Significantly, India was a net exporter of copper for close to two decades before the closure of Sterlite Copper plant at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu in May 2018. In the same year, India became net importer of copper for the first time. —PTI

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