SHANGHAI, Apr. 25 (SMM) – With regard to copper price trends for the foreseeable future, SMM conducted a survey of 20 domestic copper tube/pipe producers, which revealed the following insights:
35% of copper tube/pipe producers believe copper prices will continue to fluctuate at current values for the near future, pointing to the relatively stable macroeconomic front and unlikelihood in deterioration in the European debt crisis. Besides, despite slack consumption during the traditional high demand period, the copper fundamentals side can still provide support for copper prices. Hence, LME copper prices are expected to lurch around USD 8,000/mt for the near term.
30% of these producers are pessimistic about the outlook. Domestic refined copper output and imports have been moving at the highs, resulting in market surpluses. Increasing stocks in bonded warehouses have added pressures to re-export. LME copper stocks also begin to rally, and stocks in Asian inventories on the LME especially have risen sharply, heightening market worries over a slow in Chinese consumption. Furthermore, the US economic recovery has signs to slow, and initial jobless claims and second-hand home sales for March were both softer-than-expected. Hence, these producers expect copper prices will trend lower for the foreseeable future.
The remaining 30% of producers cannot predict where future copper prices are headed.