Copper Theft on the Rise in Germany, Loss of Millions of Euros
Copper is a precious metal. Theft as a precious metal by criminal gangs in Germany. In view of rising copper prices, the value of losses due to these incidents is likely to increase further. In Germany, the most populous country in the European Union and one of the largest economies in the world, this trend of copper theft has caused concern at both the public and business levels. For Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s largest rail company. So, such criminal incidents have been a headache for a long time. Deutsche Bahn is also partly state-owned and the institution has needed to modernize its infrastructure over the years.
German Economic Journal
According to the German economic journal “Handelsblatt”, in 2022 alone, Deutsche Bahn lost 6.6 million euros due to increasing incidents of copper theft. Apart from this, the movement of 2,644 trains across the country was delay due to the damage cause to the railway company’s infrastructure due to these incidents of theft to the extent that the total duration of this delay was more than 700 hours. As far as rail installations are concern, criminal gangs steal copper mostly by cutting the wiring of many thick wires and extracting the copper from it. Thus, not only the delay in the movement of trains affects the movement of millions of passengers annually, but at the same time these crimes at the level of freight vehicles also cause disruption in the supply chain for the country’s economy.
Other Affected Sectors
Incidents of copper theft in Germany not limit to rail companies such as Deutsche Bahn, for example, the metal is stolen from construction sites. All copper theft cases in the Federal Republic of Germany to date an example of one of the biggest incidents is that which seen in the same year in the German company Aurubis, which is engaged in the industrial production and recycling of copper.
The company, base in the northern German city of Hamburg, reveal that around $200 million (189 million euros) worth of copper was stolen from its production and recycling unit. Aurubis is the largest copper producer in Europe. The company said last month that a suspected group of criminals stole copper or a portion of copper products from the premises of its production unit. This loss was so big that it would also affect the total value of the annual profit of this industrial enterprise.
Decrease in copper availability
Copper is a metal that is widely use in many electrical products and machines. Now that there is a global trend that the industrial sector should make its production in such a way that it causes the least emission of environmentally friendly carbon gases, the industrial use of copper has become even more important and diverse. Joachim Berlenbach, founding chairman of Earth Resource Investment (ERI), a German consulting firm for investments in underground mineral resources, told DW that there is no doubt that industrial demand for copper will increase significantly in the future.
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According to Berlenbach, “Imagine that the generation of electricity. By a wind turbine is made possible spinning copper wires in a magnetic field. You need anywhere from five to nine tons of copper to produce just one megawatt of electricity. This volume depends on whether such a wind turbine is install. In an offshore area or in a dry or plain area. Copper prices will continue to rise in the future. Said the German expert on investment in key mineral resources. “Because we have sufficient availability of this very important metal raw material for these purposes.” No, which have set to achieve our environmental and economic goals of decarbonisation. This is an aspect that is neglect in promoting. The use of alternative but environmentally friendly sources of power generation.
Economic growth is also the reason for the increase in Metal prices
In an interview with DW, Joachim Berlenbach said that copper prices in the international markets will be higher. In the future, due to large economies on the threshold of development. Such as China and India. Explaining the position, he said that due to the increase in the stander of living. When people will buy more cars, more air conditioners and other machines. While building new houses for themselves. They will also make better and safer electrical wiring in them. The demand for this metal for all applications will continue to increase.
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According to the founding head of the German consultancy firm ERI. His organization’s statistical research shows that the total amount of copper. That humans have mine on Earth to date has result in a total of 700 million tons of this metal. “But more importantly, humans will need about the same amount of additional this metal in the next 30 years.”