SHANGHAI, Sep 14, 2011 (Dow Jones ) -- Refined copper demand in China is likely to rise at a relatively fast pace in the next five years, underpinned by industrialization in rural regions, a senior official from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said Thursday.
"The average growth rate is likely to be 6% per year during the next five years, with rural demand the main contributor," Zhao Bo, deputy director of the association's copper department, told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of an industry conference.
China plans to spend CNY292.5 billion ($45 billion) on power-grid networks in the next five years, mainly on network upgrades in rural areas.
"Demand from the power sector will continue to rise in the coming years due to ongoing upgrade of rural power networks," Zhao said separately in a presentation to the conference.
The power sector accounts for 48.2% of China's total copper consumption, Zhao said.
By 2015, refined copper demand in China will reach 8.5 million tons a year, he said.
China is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for 40% of global demand.