SHANGHAI, Mar. 27 (SMM) – According to a recent SMM survey, orders at copper downstream enterprises will improve in March. About 90% copper tube/pipe, plate, sheet, strip and foil producers and 80% copper wire rod and cable producers reported orders increased in March, and copper downstream consumption improved. Operating rates in March will advance.
SMM anticipates the average operating rate at copper rod, tube/pipe, plate, sheet, strip, foil, electric wire and cable producers in March will be 70.15%, 76.42%, 59.13% and 72.53% respectively. The willingness to produce will weaken compared to the same period last year.
Inventories continued to grow. By March 22nd, SHFE copper inventories reached 239,300 mt, a second record high compared to the 248,300 mt in April 2002. LME copper inventories reached 562,500, a new high since October 2003.
As the high demand season for copper nears, inventories are expected to fall. But given slow growth of China’s economy and sluggish overseas demand, especially euro zone fundamentals are now weak, copper consumption will remain low.