Trafigura CEO expects 10 million tonne supply deficit in copper market by 2030

FILE PHOTO: Jeremy Weir, Chief Executive Officer of Trafigura Group, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2018 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

LONDON (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Trafigura sees a significant supply deficit in the copper market and a prolonged high-price cycle, its chief executive Jeremy Weir told the Fastmarkets Copper Seminar.

“We see a significant deficit, possibly in the region of 10 million tonnes of additional copper is required to balance the market by 2030,” he said.

Weir said China would remain a key driver of demand but the decarbonisation goals of the European Union and the new U.S. administration mean a lot more copper will be needed to meet their new infrastructure and electrical grid needs.

London copper hit near 10-year highs this week on some near-term supply tightness.

“What we expect to see is a third of the demand growth for copper is probably going to be electric vehicles, a third in this new electrification in terms of infrastructure spending and a third of emerging markets,” he said.

“I really think this is a prolonged high-price cycle and we’re going to need these high prices to incentivise new production.”

Reporting by Julia Payne. Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter