NEW DELHI: India’s copper imports may touch 3 lakh tonne as economic growth picks up momentum despite adequate domestic capacity to meet the rising demand, the report said
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, report agencies.
“In the first quarter of FY22, India’s copper imports shot up by 26 per cent to 60,766 tonnes from 48,105 tonnes in the same period last year even as the nation was in the grip of second COVID wave with multiple lockdowns.
“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 said.
India ended the last financial year with copper imports of 2,33,671 tonnes.
With 26-30 per cent growth, imports are likely to be in the range of 295,000-304,000 tonnes 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.
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.