A few days from Asia Copper Week

By Alejandra Wood, Executive Director of Cesco

The week of November 19 was important for mining. During those days in Shanghai, more than 1,800 people linked to the copper industry met at Asia Copper Week – a meeting organized by the Center for Copper and Mining Studies (Cesco) and the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association- opportunity in which the present and future of the sector were discussed.

The diagnosis from the experts and mining leaders attending the event on the context the sector is being developed was transversal: in the last 12 months, the world has continued to face a variety of challenges and growing complexities, such as social unrest in various countries, the challenges posed by climate change, the transition to a digital world, as well as global trade tensions that have a daily presence in the press.

In this scenario, there is no doubt about the prominence of minerals and metals in the future. There is a consensus that nowadays’ market fundamentals are stable and the stock of red metal is in equilibrium, so there would be no significant variation in the price of copper between this year and 2020, given the macroeconomic variables surrounding this industry, specifically the trade war between China and the United States. However, there are glimpses of agreement between these two countries, which could take place gradually over the next few months.

In the medium and long term, there is a moderate optimism in the sector regarding the growth of the copper market thanks to the rise of new technologies, especially in electromobility, where the red metal plays a fundamental role. China is currently producing more than 30 million cars a year, of which one million of them are electric vehicles. Everything indicates that this figure will increase exponentially and we need to also consider the growth in the energy area in countries such as the Asian giant, or India, among others.

The absence of the leaders of the Chilean industry was noted and the comment on the situation that our country is going through was a topic in all the meetings. However, the situation of other democracies in South America was also mentioned, as well as more general comments about social unrest in other parts of the world.

In Cesco we are at full speed working for the organization of Cesco Week Santiago 2020, which will take place the week of March 23 of next year. We already have several confirmed guests and we will require the support of all the members of this industry to ensure to the world that, despite the delicate moment, it is relevant and perhaps more than before, to meet.