Copper, Zinc & Lead Refining in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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In the five years to 2019, although activity in the construction and manufacturing sectors is currently gaining ground, the price of copper is projected to decrease, tempering industry growth. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Copper, Zinc & Lead Refining industry in its growing industry report collection.

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The price of copper, the industry's main product, is projected to trend downward.

The performance of the Copper, Zinc and Lead Refining industry is closely linked to activity in the construction and manufacturing sectors, which are the major markets for industry products. Fluctuations in the price of copper, zinc, lead and other nonferrous metals often reflect changes in demand for these metals. When global industrial activity contracted during the recession, nonferrous metal prices plummeted. Conversely, when emerging markets, such as China, returned the world economy to growth in 2010, demand and prices for nonferrous metals surged. However, slowing growth in emerging markets on top of persisting debt issues in developed countries, such as the United States, Europe and Japan, have caused nonferrous metal prices to deteriorate since 2012. As a result, industry revenue is forecast to fall in 2014.

Despite losses following this volatility, revenue has increased since 2009. Rising demand from emerging economies, such as India, helped fuel postrecession industry growth. In addition to shipping refined metal products overseas, according to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Leah Goddard, “industry operators also provide refining services to international clients on a fee basis, without actually owning the refined metal.” Growth in foreign demand for refined nonferrous metals has partially mitigated continued weakness in the US construction sector, the largest domestic market for industry products. Due to strong demand and swelling prices for nonferrous metals after the recession, industry revenue is projected to grow at an average annual rate. “Increased demand from international customers and domestic manufacturers, coupled with higher selling prices for nonferrous metals, has also bolstered industry profitability over the period,” says Goddard.

The Copper, Zinc and Lead Refining industry has a medium level of market share concentration. Over the next five years, industry revenue is forecast to rise moderately. The price of copper, the industry's main product, is projected to trend downward over the period due to excess global supply. Furthermore, copper prices will be weakened by persisting debt issues in the United States, the European Union and Japan, which has limited investment in infrastructure construction. In addition, an appreciating dollar will contribute to intense import competition over the period. However, these challenges will be mitigated by higher prices for other nonferrous metals and the rapid recovery of residential and commercial construction markets.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Copper, Zinc & Lead Refining industry in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies in the Copper, Zinc and Lead Refining industry smelt or refine nonferrous metals other than aluminum. The refining process includes the use of electrolytic methods, as well as more traditional furnace-based procedures. Additionally, industry operators that refine gold typically do so on a fee-for-service basis.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.

Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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