SHANGHAI, May 21 (SMM) – A recent SMM survey of 20 major domestic copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil producers (total capacity: 929,200 mt/yr) revealed the following insights:
1) April's Average Operating Rate at Copper Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Foil Producers Unchanged from March
The average operating rate for April at domestic copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil producers was 65.08%, virtually flat with March's 65.11%. As domestic and export sales of household appliances, electronics, automobiles, and decoration products showed no significant improvements, overall demand for copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil did not increase. As a result, increases in average operating rates at producers within these sectors lost upward momentum from April. There are signs that demand for copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil began to slow in mid-May, so May's average operating rate at these producers will likely fall below April's level.
2) Raw Material Inventories at Copper Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Foil Producers Increase Slightly
Raw material inventories during April at copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil producers were 19.17% of production, up slightly from the previous month, but still considered low. Consumption of copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil is limited given the current economic environment, and many consuming sectors have now entered traditionally low-demand periods, with no intentions of increasing raw material inventories. Most of these producers are also pessimistic over future copper prices, and as copper prices fluctuated between RMB 57,000-58,000/mt during April, producers were only purchasing materials to maintain production. However, some of these surveyed producers said they would increase raw material stocks if copper prices fall to RMB 55,000/mt.