SHANGHAI, Jan 6 (SMM) - There is only half a month left before the 2023 Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday. What will Chinese enterprises in the copper industry arrange their holidays when covid-19 broke out again at the end of the year?
The SMM Copper Research Group conducted a survey on related companies with a total capacity of 5.8 million mt, and here is an overview.
Copper cathode rods
Most small and medium-sized copper rod makers will be closed for holidays during January 14-21, while some leading enterprises have not yet decided on specific holiday date. Most copper rod companies said they only had a few orders on hand as the covid-19 pandemic prodded terminal companies, whose restocking demand was low, to take earlier holidays. In addition, the demand at the end of 2022 was much weaker than previous years due to the economic downturn throughout 2022. As a result, most copper cathode rod factories will be closed 5-6 days earlier than in previous years.
The small and medium-sized enterprises have seen a significant drop in orders since December. In particular, the orders from home appliance sector were weak. The operating rates of copper pipe makers were lower with a large number of workers infected with covid-19. As such, most enterprises decided to be closed for holiday 4-7 days earlier than in previous years. For some large enterprises, they will maintain production during the holiday as usual. Some other have not set a specific date for holiday, and their production will extend to at least January 14. On the whole, copper pipe producers will take earlier holidays than previous years, and the details between large and small enterprises differ greatly.
Copper plate/sheet and strip
According to SMM survey, small copper plate/sheet and strip companies will be closed 2-3 days earlier than previous years due to weak downstream consumption. In contrast, the holiday arrangement of large enterprises will basically be unchanged from previous years. Some of them intend to maintain normal production during the holiday, while some will take a 7-day holiday. In general, the holiday arrangement of the copper plate/sheet and strip enterprises will not change much compared with previous years.
The copper rod producers faced great pressure throughout 2022, with orders for small and medium-sized enterprises falling sharply, while the orders for large enterprises relatively stable. Specifically, the operating rates of copper rod enterprises in December was seriously affected by the pandemic, and enterprises saw almost no change in the orders in January. Therefore, the holiday arrangement will be basically the same as previous year. Most copper rod companies will be closed starting sometime between January 9-16, and those who do not will be off for holiday at least after January 14.
Secondary copper rod
In 2022, the supply of secondary copper was tight, and most secondary copper rod companies were unable to produce at full capacity due to lack of raw materials, resulting in order backlog. In late December, secondary copper rod companies saw a substantial decline in orders as downstream enterprises took early holidays. This, coupled with low operating rates resulting from infected workers, prompted some companies to be closed for maintenance half a month ahead of schedule. Apart from that, most secondary copper rod companies plan to have the same holiday arrangement as previous year, except for very few companies who decide to be closed 2-3 days in advance on weak demand. Generally speaking, copper rod companies will be closed sometime between January 15 and January 19.
Copper wire and cable
In December, the orders of copper wire and cable companies dropped significantly by 10-30% compared with previous years, under the impacts of covid-19 pandemic and feeble consumption. Although the overall demand is weak, the holiday arrangements of different copper wire and cable companies vary greatly. Some large-scale enterprises will be shut down for seven days, the same as in previous years, starting sometime between January 14 and January 21. As for small and medium-sized enterprises, some will be closed a week earlier, some will be off during the 7-day break for CNY holiday while few will take no break. On the whole, the holiday arrangement of copper wire and cable companies varies greatly. Some will be off earlier than the previous year, and some will see no change.
According to SMM research, some small enamelled wire enterprises plan to take their CNY holiday since January 9 instead of the original January 14 due to weak downstream consumption. While most enterprises will be closed for as long as in previous years, starting sometime between January 14 and January 16. In addition, the production resumption of most enterprises will be consistent with that of previous years, but some enterprises may extend the holiday on expectations for weaker orders after the Chinese New Year.