SHANGHAI, Mar. 6 (SMM) – Based on the latest SMM survey, the average operating rate during February at the surveyed low-oxygen copper rod producers fell by 2.5% MoM to 30.3%, due largely to the following two reasons. First, inasmuch as the price spread between bare bright (including tax) and refined copper narrowed further, low-oxygen copper rod evinced little price advantage against oxygen-free copper rod. Hence, medium and large low-oxygen copper rod producers reported low their operating rates. Second, operating rates at small low-oxygen copper rod producers also dropped continuously, contributable mainly to scrap copper sourcing difficulties. Taken together, falling post-holiday copper prices, scrap copper supply shortages, as well as soft orders caused operating rates at these small low-oxygen copper rod producers to march down further during February.