TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - Japan's copper cable and wire output rose in June from a year ago, the second straight monthly gain on demand for reconstruction materials after last year's massive earthquake and to feed a jump in domestic car sales.
June output rose 1 percent from a year ago to an estimated 57,300 tonnes, the Japanese Electric Wire and Cable Makers' Association said on Friday, on track to meet a production target of 695,000 tonnes for the year to March 2013.
That compares to the pre-Lehman crisis level of 800,000 tonnes.
Demand from the construction sector, which account for nearly 40 percent of the total, rose 3.3 percent to 23,600 tonnes, while that of carmakers surged 36 percent to 7,100 tonnes from disaster-hit lows last year following the March earthquake.
Domestic new car sales in the period from January to June jumped 54 percent from a year earlier to 2.95 million units, buoyed by government subsidies for environmentally friendly cars, the highest in six years.
But Europe's credit crunch and a deceleration of the global economy weighed on global demand, curtailing Japan's copper cable exports by nearly 40 percent to 1,200 tonnes.
Demand from electric power companies declined 22 percent to 4,500 tonnes in June as utilities cut back on capital outlays following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which forced them to turn off many nuclear power plants and rely heavily on costly fossil fuel.
In the year ended March 2012, demand from power utilities plunged 13 percent to 61,400 tonnes, the lowest since 1963.