Japan Copper Alloyed Product Shipment Increases in F2006

Copper alloyed product shipment increased by 3.4% to 1.044 million tonnes in Japan in fiscal 2006 ended March 2007 compared with fiscal 2005, including domestic demand and export, according to Japan Copper and Brass Association. The shipment exceeded the present year’s figure for the first time since fiscal 2004. The shipment hit record high for connector pins installed in electric appliances such as personal computers and cellular phones. The export also increased when copper alloyed products were used more for automobiles and electric appliances in Asia than previous year.The domestic shipment increased by 2.2% to 849,109 tonnes in fiscal 2006 from a year ago. The shipment of connector related copper alloy products represented the largest growth rate at 4.1% among the other demand fields in fiscal 2006 and the shipment volume hit record 139,528 tonnes in fiscal 2006 since the installation of the current statistical method in 1985. The shipment volume of copper, brass and phosphor bronze strips increased for connector pins. For transporting machines, the demand of copper and brass strips was steady for automotive connector pins. For gas appliances, the shipment of brass bar, copper sheet, strip and tube increased for water heaters and stove parts. For precision machines, the shipment of brass fabricated products increased which are used as parts for cameras, clocks and optical instruments. On the other hand, the shipment hit record low volume for the construction market where mid- and small-sized customers seemed to minimize their purchasing volume due to the upsurge of copper metal price. Export increased by 8.8% to 195,372 tonnes in fiscal 2006 from fiscal 2005. Demand increased for copper alloy strips in Asian regions which are used in automobiles and electric appliances. Cadmium-free brass bar demand increased for Malaysia and China after Restriction of Hazardous Substances was carried out in European Union in July 2006.