SHANGHAI, Mar 11 (SMM)—Operating rates at copper plate, strip and foil producers stood at 63.79% in February, up 31.18 percentage points on the year, but down 21.09 percentage point on the month, according to an SMM survey. The Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday and post-holiday hiking copper prices curbed downstream consumption, leading to the fall in operating rates. However, compared with previous years, the impact of the CNY holiday on operating rates was weaker, as some large-scale copper plate, strip and foil producers operated normally during the holiday amid strong consumption of new energy vehicles (NEVs), 5G new materials and home appliances.
The feedstock inventory/monthly output ratio at copper plate, strip and foil makers stood at 29.2% in February
In February, the ratio of raw material to total production stood at 29.2%, an increase of 2.63 percentage points from the previous month. Copper plate, strip and foil output slid during the CNY holiday, and some small and medium-scale producers consumed less raw materials after CNY due to poor orders.
Operating rates to rise to 80.36% in March
SMM expects operating rates of copper plate, strip and foil producers to gain 16.57 percentage points on the month to 80.36% in March, as demand from new energy, 5G, home appliances and electronics is likely to improve. Orders in March are expected to be better than the same period last year.