PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Feb2019

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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2019 The dawn of 2019 is upon us, and economic turmoil, international cooperation, tariffs, ex- port regulations, conflicts, and Brexit are af- fecting the market and demand for natural resources such as copper. These challenges— combined with a stringent and continuous paradigm shift from the combustion engine to electric and hybrid energy systems—indicate that the copper price for 2019 will be stable compared to 2018. In this month's column, I will address the expected demand and supply of copper after 2019, and particularly in one key industry—automotive. The Copper Situation This industry is rapidly starting to affect the demand for copper, not least in the years to come. The key characteristics of copper are its electrical and thermal properties—tough, recy- clable, non-magnetic, antimicrobial, and cata- 2019 Copper Development and Onward lytic—and its status as an affordable resource compared to materials with similar attributes. Thus, copper is a vital resource for current and future industries like power, medical, automo- tive and renewable energy. What these indus- tries have in common is not only a significant demand for copper but also a high demand for PCBs. Copper is one of the key raw materi- als in PCB manufacturing and is consequently price sensitive to changes in copper demand and supply. Manufacturers, customers, organi- zations, and governments are constantly align- ing their interest in the automotive industry as the demand for electric and hybrid energy sys- tems increases. Copper Demand and Supply One research paper estimates global copper demand until 2100 (Figure 1) [1] . Their find- ings indicate that infrastructure and transpor- The PCB Norsemen by Didrik Bech, ELMATICA Figure 1: Global copper demand estimates [1] .

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