Country’s copper imports went up by 26 per cent to reach 60,766 tonnes in the first quarter of the current financial year (2021-22). The imports were 48,105 tonnes during the corresponding period of 2020-21.
According to the International Copper Association (ICA), which has provided the data, the imports are expected to rise further during the current fiscal as economic activities have witnessed a rise due to lifting of Coronavirus related curbs across the country.
In fact the association said that the imports may touch the 3 lakh tonnes mark during this period.
The ironical part though is that copper imports are rising despite India having the capacity to meet the domestic demand for the mineral.
India had ended 2020-21 with copper imports of 2,33,671 tonnes.
With 26 per cent to 30 per cent growth expected during the current financial year, imports are likely to be in the range of 2,95,000 to 3,04,000 tonnes in 2021-22, the association said further.
Notably till May 2018, when the Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu had closed down, India was among the leading exporters of the mineral for more than 20 years, the association said.
However during the same year, i.e. in 2018, India became the net importer of copper for the first time after Sterlite’s closure, it added.