The operating rates of key copper rod producers using copper cathode averaged 71.78% last week (September 8-14), an increase of 1.53 percentage points from a week earlier. The inventories of some copper rod factories were still at a relatively high level, limiting the rise in operating rates.
According to the survey, the orders from cable industry improved recently, while the demand from enamelled wire sector changed little. Copper rod plants using copper cathode as raw material were still mainly executing long-term contracts as new orders were largely unchanged.
Last week, the large price spread between the SHFE front-month and SHFE next-month copper contracts kept copper rod plants using copper cathode as raw material cautious in purchasing raw materials. Some copper rod companies slowed down the production pace by reducing production and suspending production to avoid part of the losses after the delivery. The average price spread between copper rod produced with copper cathode and with copper scrap shrank to 744 yuan/mt on Thursday. Copper rod produced with copper scrap lacked price advantage, boosting consumption of copper rod produced with copper cathode.