China copper semis output is estimated at 1.86 million mt in August, down 4.95% month on month. The average operating rate of copper semis producers stood at 71.46% in August, down 0.72 percentage point month on month and 1.42 percentage points year on year.
High copper prices dampening downstream buying interest and the off season for some industries accounted for the decline in operating rates in the copper semis sector in August. The average operating rate dropped across most segments except for the copper plate/sheet and strip sector: copper plate/sheet and strip sector (76.63%) > copper cathode rod sector (70.46%) >copper pipe sector (69.35%). The operating rates of the copper plate/sheet and strip industry increased in August, mainly due to the increase in orders from the downstream transformer industry and the mobile phone industry. The operating rates of copper rod plants using copper cathode as raw material changed little. The recent series of favourable real estate policies have yet to affect the cable market. The decline in the operating rate of the copper pipe industry is due mainly to the off-season.
Overseas demand recovery was slow in August. The European manufacturing PMI was 44.7%, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The manufacturing PMI of the Americas was 47.9%, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the previous month, indicating a weak recovery in the manufacturing in the Americas. This can also be reflected in the continuous decline in China’s new export orders. In terms of China’s August PMI, the new export orders rose by 0.4 percentage point to 46.7%.