SANTIAGO, Chile Anglo
American Plc is "very positive" about its medium- to
longer-term fundamentals despite the copper market moving into
surplus, John MacKenzie, chief executive officer of the
miners copper division, said.
"We see ongoing growth in
demand, particularly from the industrializing, urbanizing
countries like China and others," he said at the Center for
Mining and Copper Studies annual Cesco Week in
"China today accounts for around
40 percent of world copper demand, and we see it continuing to
grow its global copper usage position to approaching 50 percent
in 10 years," MacKenzie added. "I think well see a lot
more growth coming from the Chinese market, all of which needs
to be supplied from projects yet to be developed."
But the company isnt
overly concerned about what will happen when Chinese demand
"While you might see rates of
growth flattening off, it is growth off a much, much bigger
base," MacKenzie said. "So even low levels of growth represent
large tonnages of copper requirements in China."
Meanwhile, urbanization and
industrialization in developing countries will continue to
support growth in copper demand after Chinese consumption
starts to fall, he said.
"When China inevitably does
start to flatten off, theres no reason to believe why
Vietnam, Indonesia and other developing countries like India
and Brazil are not going to be following (its growth
trajectory)," MacKenzie said. "Not necessarily along the same
path as China, because China is a special case, but these
nations are going to be growing their intensity of copper use
as (gross domestic product) per capita grows."
Africa will also see its demand
for copper take off "at some point," he said. "Within Africa,
there are a lot of countries that, off a low base, are starting
to see very high levels of economic growth and ... will need
infrastructure and want appliances."
Demographic changes will also
boost demand, with the continents population expected to
double to 2 billion people within a few decades, MacKenzie
The prospects for North American
demand have also improved, he said, noting that London-based
Anglo American is "quite encouraged" by the return of growth in
the United States as the country "is looking a lot stronger
In contrast, "Europe still seems
to be not going anywhere fast," MacKenzie said. "Obviously,
(the situation in Europe) is not helped by events in Cyprus,
with continued waves of concern each time breaking down
confidence that has slowly built up in between. Were not
yet seeing any growth in Europe at this stage."