According to the report, Ernst & Young general manager Michael Elliott said: "We are seeing this transition. We will find that aluminum will be revived, and copper will obviously be the same. Maybe the status of zinc will continue to rise." This change is good news for miners who have suffered a sharp fall in the prices of raw materials for steel production. Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest miner, is reducing its iron ore and coal spending, and plans to increase its investment in copper and bauxite this year. BHP Billiton also believes that power consumption is driving China's demand for copper and is expanding its copper mines.
Stephen Roach, former chief economist at Morgan Stanley, pointed out that the shift from a Chinese economy to a consumption-led one is part of a large-scale change that will provide a fantastic opportunity for developed countries. Although copper ore prices have fallen by 12% this year due to concerns about global economic growth, they are expected to jump 21% in the future. China's copper ore imports have climbed to new heights last year. In addition, aluminum and zinc prices are expected to surge by 16% and 13% respectively this year, and iron ore may fall another 15%. Rio Tinto’s chief executive, Sam Walsh, said: “Without our products, you can’t assemble refrigerators, washing machines or cars. The shift from China’s economic growth to consumption has actually happened.” Rio Tinto expects In 2025, Chinese households will use 800 million air conditioners, twice as much as in 2013. Only these air conditioners may require about 9.4 million metric tons of copper.