SHANGHAI, June 28 (SMM) - A recent CBI survey of 19 major domestic medium and large-size copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers (total capacity: 902 kt/yr) revealed the following insights:
1) Monthly and Yearly Operating Rates Remain Flat
According to the SMM recent survey, the average operating rate at the 19 copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers was 63.3% in June, flat with levels during the same period last year, but down slightly on a monthly basis. Producers in the survey told SMM that orders in previous years were generally down beginning in June due to a seasonal low demand period. However, current June orders remained relatively unchanged from May levels. The 19 producers also said current lower prices are helping stimulate downstream purchasing interest. In addition, demand from the e-bike industry has remained strong since the Chinese New Year holiday, boosting demand for copper plate, sheet, strip and foil.
2) Raw Material Inventories Edge Up
The SMM survey also shows that the proportion of raw materials inventory in June was 35.5%, up from 34.1% in May. Many copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil producers say they will increase purchase volumes to meet further production needs, since current lower copper prices allow them to buy more for less. Meanwhile, producers in the survey added that they are not pessimistic with regard to orders for the remainder of 2010, and are optimistic towards copper price trends. In this context, the producers will not reduce stocks due to any worries over price declines.
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