SHANGHAI, May 12 (SMM)—Operating rates at copper plate, strip and foil producers stood at 85.59% in April, up 17.29 percentage points on the year and 6.03 percentage point on the month, according to an SMM survey of 29 producers with total capacity of 1.96 million mt/year.
Consumption of motive batteries for new energy vehicles continued to improve, which boosted demand for copper foil. New orders remained stable at battery makers despite shortages of car chips, and some of them have already scheduled production to June. The boom in the automotive industry has also driven consumption of copper plates and strips. Surveyed producers said that consumer demand for high-precision copper strips for automotive radiators is strong.
In addition, demand for electronic tapes for connectors, heat exchanger copper tapes for computer motherboards, and lead frame copper tapes for semiconductor packaging from the terminal electronic information industry is still strong.
In April, the ratio of raw material to total production stood at 13.45%, a decline of 2.7 percentage points from the previous month. Producers were reluctant to stockpile too many raw materials due to the high copper prices in April.
SMM expects operating rates across copper plate, strip and foil producers to lose 1.44 percentage points on the month to 84.15% in May, as hiking copper prices forced copper processors to slow down production.