Copper is a material that flows into products (e.g. wires, busbars, tubes, ...) that are used in components (e.g. motors, transformers, cables, ...) to build systems that produce benefits for end-users. When copper leaves the copper industry, it starts a long and complex journey.
The end-use dataset provides good indications where and how copper is used.
Overall, 60% of copper use in in wire & cable products. Roughly a quarter of extruded and rolled products are for electrical conductivity applications, bringing the total for conductivity to 70%. Non-alloyed copper products represent 80% of use with the remaining 20% is spread over 400+ alloys.
The building construction market represents almost 30% of end-use. This segment covers fixed technical installations in buildings (data, electrical, heating, water). Among these, electrical installations are the most important application.
Power, telecom and transport networks represent close to 20%. Power infrastructure dominates.
Around 45% of copper is used in manufactured goods - consumer, HVAC, industrial, office and transport equipment.
Finally, 10% covers 'the batallion of everything else', copper in coins, ammunition, clothing, toys, etc.
China represents close to half of refined copper usage and total Asia even 70%. Looking at trade figures, millions of tonnes of refined copper use in China are embedded in exports for appliances, cars, machinery etc.
 These graphs are based on row and column totals of the 2021 copper semis end-use dataset (data for the year 2020) available at https://help.copper.fyi/hc/en-us/articles/4408226152082
Last update: November 22, 2022