Copper Ore Exports by Country. Global sales for copper ore exports from all countries totaled US$58 billion in 2020. That dollar amount reflects a 28.6% increase since 2016 but a flatlining -0.6% dip from 2019 to 2020.
The 5 biggest exporters of copper ore are Chile, Peru, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Collectively, that group of countries shipped 64.2% of the total value for exported copper ore during 2020.
Copper is a relatively soft, malleable and ductile metal which is the preferred electrical conductor for most forms of electrical wiring excluding overhead electric power transmission where aluminum is often chosen. While roughly half of mined copper is used in electrical wires and cables, copper serves as an essential component in electrical motors, as well as a corrosion-resistant and weatherproof building material notably for roofs, spires, rain gutters and doors.
Over half (52.5%) of worldwide copper ore exports came from Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Asia was the source for 16.9% of the global total, ahead of 14.4% worth of copper ore exported from North America.
Smaller percentages of international sales originated from Australia and Papua New Guinea (9.2%), Europe (3.9%) and Africa (3.2%).
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 2603 for copper ores and concentrates.
Copper Ore Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of copper ore during 2020.
- Chile: US$17.5 billion (30.1% of exported copper ore)
- Peru: $9.2 billion (15.8%)
- Australia: $4.6 billion (7.9%)
- Canada: $3.2 billion (5.6%)
- Mexico: $2.8 billion (4.8%)
- Indonesia: $2.4 billion (4.2%)
- Brazil: $2.4 billion (4.2%)
- United States: $2.3 billion (4%)
- Mongolia: $1.8 billion (3.1%)
- Kazakhstan: $1.5 billion (2.5%)
- Panama: $1.1 billion (2%)
- Democratic Rep. Congo: $812.7 million (1.4%)
- Spain: $759.8 million (1.3%)
- Taiwan: $747.1 million (1.3%)
- Georgia: $743.8 million (1.3%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 89.4% of global copper ore exported in 2020.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing copper ore exporters since 2019 were: Panama (up 96.6%), Indonesia (up 88.4%), Kazakhstan (up 26.8%) and Mexico (up 18.1%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported copper ore sales were led by: Spain (down -47%), Democratic Rep. Congo (down -27.1%), Peru (down -22.7%), Taiwan (down -7.5%) and Chile (down -2.7%).