Furukawa Circuit Foil Raises Electrolytic Copper Foil Price

Furukawa Circuit Foil has started additional electrolytic copper foil price negotiations since January. As for all-purpose electrolytic copper foil with 35 microns thick, the representative product, Furukawa achieved adding the full amount from shipping in January-February to the previous amount. Furthermore, Furukawa aims at the price increase from shipping in April due to sharp rises of copper prices and tightness of electrolytic copper foil supply and demand. Furukawa decided to raise by 100-150 yen per kilogram the price of the all-purpose product with 35 microns thick for domestic use from shipping in January in the end of last year. At the same time, the firm decided to increase by $1 per kilogram that for use in Southeast Asia from shipping in February. The selling price became $7.5-8 per kilogram, which already exceeded 7-dollar-mark per kilogram that reached the peak in 2000 of the IT (information technology) bubble peak period. Currently, there is still the material cost increase. The price of No. 1 copper wire, which is the raw material of electrolytic copper foil, is 590 yen per kilogram for dealers’ purchase price in the Tokyo area. The price increase ratio from the beginning of 2005 is 80%, and that from the beginning of this year was 16%. On the other hand, that by Furukawa has just been around 40% since the beginning of 2005. There has been much more shortage of stock of electrolytic copper foils since last fall. According to Furukawa, there has been shortage of the production capacity to the order entry by around 15% per month since last October. There are a lot of inquiries of the products by and large. Furukawa forecasts that there will be the firm demand by June. Mitsui Mining and Smelting, the biggest electrolytic copper foil maker, also decided to perform the all-purpose product price hike. The hike of about $1 per kilogram spread out to the Southeast Asian market; the retail price increased to around $8 per kilogram. There is some possibility that Mitsui will perform another hike depending on LME (London Metal Exchange) copper price trends. The copper price would increase to US$5,000 or more per tonne again.