SHANGHAI, Aug 12 (SMM) – Operations across Chinese manufacturers of copper tubes and pipes in July continued to slow on both yearly and monthly basis as a seasonal lull intensified, an SMM survey showed on Monday August 12.
SMM data showed that operating rates across copper tube and pipe producers averaged 80.24% last month, down 9.25 percentage points from July 2018 and down 6.14 percentage points from June.
The survey covered 19 producers, with total capacity of 2.13 million mt on an annualised basis.
Orders for copper tube and pipe slipped as their major domestic consumer, air conditioner producers, continued to be frustrated by high inventories of finished products. Some other downstream producers began summer break in July, and this also deterred consumption for copper tube, pipe.
Industrial data showed that domestic sales across China’s top producers of air conditioners in July fell 11 percentage points from a year ago.
The ratio of raw material inventory to output at copper tube and pipe producers continued to grow 0.35 percentage point from a month ago to stand at 14.5% in July, as consumption weakened more than expected. But the absolute quantity in raw material inventories shrank as producers kept from holding too much feedstock amid weak demand.
SMM expects the operating rates across Chinese copper tube, pipe producers to extend their declines by 4.63 percentage points month on month and 4.18 percentage points year on year to 75.61% in August.
The declines narrowed from that in July as domestic exporters are expected to rush into moving products abroad before the scheduled 10% US tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods take effect on September 1.