Japan Electrolytic Copper Foil Makers Seek US$ 2/kg Hike for Asia

Japanese major makers of electrolytic copper foil increase the selling price for products with 35 micrometers thick for July shipment. Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Nippon Mining & Metals and Furukawa Circuit Foil started the price hike negotiation with the users of Asian printed circuit board makers to seek around US$ 2 per kilogram hike. The users are expected to accept the hike when their production keeps high level to meet strong demand. The foil makers’ selling price is US$ 10.5-11 per kg for Asian market. However, copper ingot price hit record US$ 8,788 per tonne at settlement of London Metal Exchange on May 12, which was 94% higher than the level at the beginning of the year. With the higher offshore price, domestic official copper ingot price increased by 33% to averaged 783,500 yen per tonne in April from average in January. The price increased to 968,800 yen in May and is still high at 885,000 yen in June as of June 27. Mitsui Mining & Smelting increased the foil selling price for 3 months in a row through July shipment. Nippon Mining & Metals and Furukawa Circuit Foil also increased the price for 2 months in a row through July. The additional hike increases the selling price to US$ 11.5-13 per kg, which is around 80% higher than the former peak in 2000 during information technology bubble. Nippon Mining & Metals and Furukawa Circuit Foil announced 350-400 yen per kg hike for domestic users. They keep negotiating the hike with domestic users. The demand keeps firm when printed circuit board demand increases for personal computer and cell phone mainly in China and Taiwan. The foil supply keeps tight since April and the makers cannot meet all of the growing demand despite of the full capacity operations. A maker source said the order is 1.5 times of the supply capacity and the firm supplies the foil after the users accept the price hike. The foil price is expected to keep firm through the year.