According to latest forecast, China will account for 52 percent of base metals demand by 2017, compared to 46 percent in 2013.
While China's lower GDP targets are reflected in lower demand growth for base metals on a percentage basis over the next five years versus the last half decade, the research firm says that China will maintain its dominance and the outlook for Chinese base metals demand is slower not lower.
Helen Matthews, head of Base Metals Markets research for Wood Mackenzie, said their forecast for the next five years shows growth in demand across the range of base metals – aluminum, copper, lead, nickel and zinc – will come predominately from China.
"Demand growth has slowed from the double digits of 2008 to 2013 to single digits - ranging from 5 to 8 percent," said Matthews. "However, it's important to note that in absolute tonnage terms we still see significant numbers."
Wood Mackenzie said that the global base metals market is set to grow from 96 million tons in 2013 to 122 million tons in 2018, with a huge shift set to occur in 2017.
"While there are a number of factors behind growth in demand for each base metal, a key theme for China is continued urbanization and rising domestic wealth," said Jonathan Butcher, senior economist for Wood Mackenzie.
Looking out to 2030, we see a bright future for Chinese commodity demand, he said.
"Urbanization rates will reach 70 percent, compared to just under half of the population in 2013. This will have a widespread impact on the economy over the next 20 years, with electricity consumption per capita forecast to reach the same level as South Korea today."