SHANGHAI, May 28 (SMM) –
Apparent consumption of refined copper during April was 737,000 mt, down 93,000 mt, or 11.2% from March. The decline in imports was due to an unfavorable SHFE/LME copper price ratio and high copper stocks at Chinese warehouses. Weak consumption in domestic markets also depressed copper smelters' interest in increasing production. Since China's actual consumption is not likely to improve significantly, SMM expects apparent consumption of refined copper will likely fall marginally during May.
Apparent consumption of copper semis in April was around 1.01 million mt, down 55,000 mt from March. Declines in both copper semis output and imports caused apparent consumption to fall as well. Domestic consumption and investments have slowed following the government's cut in economic growth targets for 2012, causing overall copper semis demand to fall. Copper semis consumption has failed to improve significantly so far during May, so apparent consumption of copper semis will only reach around 1 million mt this month.