SHANGHAI, Mar. 27 (SMM) - According to a recent SMM survey of 21 domestic copper tube/pipe producers, only 10% are pessimistic towards copper price trends.
43% of enterprises surveyed believe copper prices will continue to fluctuate. US housing starts in February were 917,000 units, and building permits were 946,000 units, both better than forecasts. That shows US economy is steadily recovering. But Cyprus debt crisis took center stage again. Besides, China’s economy is improving slowly, which is global largest copper consuming country. In this context, copper prices will hardly improve.
14% of enterprises are optimistic towards copper prices. They are expecting urbanization and other positive policies after the NPC and CPPCC. The SHFE/LME copper price ratio has improved as copper prices fell, and this helped create import opportunities. Besides, operating rates at downstream producers will rise in 2Q, which will cause demand for copper to grow. As such, copper prices are expected to stop falling and rise.
10% believe copper prices will fall in the near term. Downstream demand has grown more slowly than expected after the holiday, while copper inventories on both LME and SHFE continued to climb. Besides, the rising US dollar index rose will also weigh down copper prices.
33% of copper tube/pipe producers surveyed are unsure of copper price trends.