Japan Rolled Copper Output Drops by 2.4% in F2005

Japanese rolled copper output reached 1 million tonnes for 3 years in a row though the output was expected to decrease to 998,800 tonnes originally for fiscal 2005. The output decreased by 2.4% to 1.003 million tonnes in fiscal 2005 ended March 2006 from fiscal 2004, announced by Japan Copper and Brass Association on Tuesday. The output apparently increased when the users increased the purchase under expectation of higher price along with demand recovery for semiconductor. The monthly output decreased every month in 2005 compared with 2004 when users were cautious to purchase copper products under surging copper along with overall slump in almost all applications except for automobile. The output increased in 2006 than expected lifting the fiscal-year base output. The output increased for 3 months in a row since January from a year earlier. The output increased by 8.9% to 94,210 tonnes in March. The output increased for phosphor bronze sheet and strip, brass bar and copper strip in fiscal 2005. The brass bar output increased widely.