Sumitomo Light Metal Raises Plumbing Copper Tube Prices

Sumitomo Light Metal Industries announced on Wednesday that it would raise the selling prices of in-house plumbing copper tubes by up to 30% for shipment in and after April 2006. The profitability became worse for the products with the rapid soar of the copper price, though the firm has advanced the price hike. Costs of other basic materials also increased with the steep rise of the crude oil price. The firm could not cover the increasing material costs and decided another price hike.Sumitomo Light Metal will raise the selling prices of in-house plumbing copper tubes by 30%, polyethylene coated copper tubes for in-house plumbing and refrigerant plumbing by more than 10%.Copper ingot price has increased at overseas markets since 2004 with the demand expansion in China and the inflow of speculative funds. The copper settlement price at London Metal Exchange (LME) increased by about 40% in 2005 and marked the record at US$ 5,145.5 per tonne on February 7, 2006.Japanese official copper ingot price also increased following the high copper price at overseas markets. The official price has especially soared since the last half of 2005 when the foreign exchange rate of yen became weaker against US dollar. The official price hit 650,000 yen per tonne on February 3 for the first time in these 26 years. It contemporarily decreased to 620,000 yen and rebounded to 650,000 yen on February 22.