SHANGHAI, Feb. 13 (SMM) –SMM's most recent survey of 20 major domestic copper tube/pipe producers (total capacity: 1.22 million mt/yr) yielded the following insights:
1) January Operating Rates Down from New Year and Chinese New Year Holidays
The average operating rate for January at the surveyed copper tube/pipe producers fell sharply to 54.49%, down by 14.8%, and was the lowest average rate since 2009. Two holidays during January were behind the decline, as most producers opted to suspend production during the Chinese New Year holiday period due to fewer orders and high stocks of air-conditioners.
2) Raw Material Inventories During January Down Slightly
Raw material inventories at the copper tube/pipe producers in the SMM survey fell slightly in January, down to 17.66% of production. Copper tube/pipe producers still had no intention to rebuild raw material stocks until downstream demand improves. In addition, high financial costs during 2011 were also having a negative effect on copper tube/pipe producers, so many were simply purchasing raw materials based on orders or on demand.