SHANGHAI, Aug. 28 (SMM) – The latest survey conducted by Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) of 23 copper plate, sheet, strip, and foil producers showed that 78% of them expect orders to remain stable in August with no significant improvement seen in the markets.
Most producers said consumption of brass strip which makes up half of copper plate, sheet and strip market in August should remain flat with July, presenting no sign of emerging from the low demand season.
As for other products, phosphor-bronze strip and copper-nickel-zinc alloy strip serving electronic sector still got bogged down, while some downstream consumers, such as home appliance and automobile manufacturers, are also experiencing seasonally low demand period. In this context, nearly four fifths of surveyed producers believed order books in August will remain unimproved.
13% of them were more pessimistic, explaining that the arrival of traditional offseason for copper plate, sheet, and strip in July and August, as well as the rallying copper prices this month will erode downstream buying interest.
In addition, demand for copper plate, sheet, strip and foil already saw an uptick in H1 as end users finished destocking, while some consumers have already replenished stocks earlier when copper prices fell, further driving down demand in August. Auto component makers also entered low demand season in July and August, with some closing in August due to high temperatures, curtailing demand for copper plate, sheet and strip used in auto components.
Nevertheless, 9% of the producers contacted by SMM were still optimistic. The European Commission announced that 94 enterprises reaching a minimum-price deal with the European Union may be exempted from punitive tariffs for exporting silicon wafer, cells, and units to the EU countries since August 6. Punitive tariff will be imposed on companies not agree with a minimum price. The deal will be effective till 2015’s end. With the amiable solution of the EU-China dispute over PV products, China’s PV sector is expected to bottom out. Some copper plate, sheet, and strip producers reported stronger demand for photovoltaic copper strips, and some small companies which have not purchased goods for a long time also started to make inquiries for photovoltaic copper strips.