Wrought Copper and Copper Alloy Product Output in 2005 to be Below 1 Million Tonnes

The output of wrought copper and copper alloy products became below 1 million tonnes for the first time in 2 years. According to prompt report of output of wrought copper and copper alloy products which Japan Copper and Brass Association announced on Thursday, the production in 2005 was 988,976 tonnes, down 5.4% from the previous year, which became the level almost equal to the production in 2001 at 988,066 tonnes because the demand of semiconductors and the related declined as stock adjustment of digital home appliances came to the surface, much small spot purchase of the products increased as caution on higher copper price had spread out among users since the official price exceeded 500,000 yen per tonne last September, and there was hardship to increase the production as the products became light. The 2004’s production became 1,044,916 tonnes which exceeded 1 million tonnes for the first time in 4 years thanks to the firm demand of digital home appliances in special procurement demand by Athens Olympics. The production in every month of 2005 became below the previous year. The production in March decreased 7.6% from the same month of the previous year, which was the highest percentage in the year. But the decrease level gradually reduced; the production in December decreased 1% to 82,300 tonnes because it seems that movements of the stock adjustments of digital home appliances stopped in October, and actual demand of copper strips and phosphor-bronze plate strips recovered. Almost all kinds of the production were below the actual results in the previous year. Copper pipe decreased 10.4% which was the highest percentage; it was below every month. On the other hand, copper bar did 0.4% which was the lowest percentage. Further, copper strip had increased since last September. Phosphor-bronze plate strips recovered little by little. Brass bar production in December exceeded the same month of the previous year a little.