Rio Tinto’s (NYSE:RIO) copper shipments declined from around 837,000 tons in 2019 to 683,000 tons in 2020. Trefis expects the number to increase to about 750,000 tons in 2021 and about 760,000 tons in 2022.
The demand for copper is broadly correlated with industrial growth and shipments saw a decline through 2020 as the Covid-19 related lockdowns resulted in a recession. However, with economies opening up, shipments are poised to trend higher.
We think the projected growth in demand isn’t fully priced into Rio stock just yet. We value the stock at about $100 per share, a premium of about 37% versus the current market price.