SHANGHAI, Apr. 23 (SMM) – The latest SMM survey finds that 70% of 20 major domestic copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers are neutral towards orders for April, and only 20% believe that orders in April will grow. The average operating rate at major copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers is expected to be 64.73% in April.
According to the survey results, around 70% of producers in the survey expect orders for April to be flat with March’s level. They believe that downstream producers will eat to orders in April along with stocks replenishment in March and price weakness from the beginning of April. Besides, the slow economic recovery and the RMB appreciation will constrict the export market, and this will negatively affect demand growth.
Approximately 20% of the surveyed producers are optimistic over April orders. The optimists understand that downstream producers were continuing to resume production in March after the 2013 Chinese New Year holiday in February. Production in March, however, was depressed by difficulties in recruiting new workers, and production at downstream producers in April is expected to improve further in April, and this will help improve consumption.
Nearly 5% expect orders to drop in April for the following two factors. First, intensified competition and falling processing fees have worsened profits at copper plate, sheet, strip and foil producers. Second, downstream producers are not active in building up stocks in the light of constant copper price declines, preferring to consume the existing stocks.
The rest are unclear about the trend of orders in April.