SMM11 16-JC Laddha, chief executive of Birla Copper, one of India's largest copper smelters, said India's refined copper consumption would more than double in the next eight years due to increased demand for electricity, cars and consumption. The country's metal consumption is expected to rise from 650000 tons in 2018 to 1.433 million tons by 2026.
"demand for overall copper in India has grown rapidly over the years and is expected to rise further due to projects such as' made in India'(and) infrastructure investment," Laddha said. Laddha said the government's "made in India" plan was aimed at promoting foreign direct investment in the country. India's refined copper production will have reached 843000 tons in 2018. But after Vedanta was forced to shut down its 400000-tonne copper smelter in May, copper production will shrink to 450000 tons in 2019, compared with demand of 700000 tons. The smelter was closed after the Tamil Nadu government killed 13 people in violent protests on suspicion of pollution. Laddha said imports from ASEAN countries, Japan and the Middle East, which benefited from disruptions in Indian copper supplies, were up from 41 per cent, up from 28 per cent.
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