There isn’t much room for copper to fall given the looming demand boom in industries like electric vehicles, according to Daikin.
Song Institute in Beijing is establishing a working group with major air conditioning producers, including Gree Electric Appliances Inc. and Haier Smart Home Co., to promote the use of aluminum in heat exchangers. In China, aluminum is only used in small parts and some exported products.
Gree and Haier said they had no specific plans to boost aluminum use in response to inquiries from Bloomberg News.
The biggest obstacle to aluminum adoption, according to Song, is resistance from air conditioning buyers, because they tend to prefer copper-based machines. This was an issue during previous copper booms in 2005 and 2011 that also spurred the substitution talks, he said.
“People tend to think that copper is stronger than aluminum, as expensive material is always considered to be of better quality,” Song said. The replacement plans “may still take a relatively long time to be fulfilled given these market obstacles.”
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