Japanese Copper Fabricators to Reduce Scrap Procurement for Oct-Dec

Japanese copper alloy fabricators and copper foil makers seem to reduce copper scrap procurement volume for October-December compared with July-September. Shipment of copper alloy fabricated products is weak for semiconductor market and other applications. The fabricators would decrease material procurement when the demand trend is unforeseeable. Meanwhile, several market sources suggest copper scrap supply would maintain tight due to continuously low scrap generation despite of the fabricators’ order reduction for October-December.

One major electric cable makers’ copper foil division and copper alloy product division announced to scrap dealers and traders that they would reduce copper scrap purchasing volume by 20-30% and cut the premium by up to 3 yen per kilogram for October-December compared with July-September.

Other copper foil makers also seem to reduce copper scrap purchasing volume by 20-30% for October-December from the previous quarter. One scrap dealer said copper foil shipment seems weak especially for semiconductor market. Copper foil makers are eyeing output adjustment for October-December though the demand keeps steady from lithium ion battery makers.

Another scrap dealer in Tokyo revealed one brass bar maker offered volume cut of scrap procurement by 50% for October 1-15 since the maker holds surplus billet inventory. Market demand had kept relatively favorable for brass bar so far.

Meanwhile, copper tube makers are likely to set material procurement volume unchanged since copper tube shipment was busy along with demand increase for energy saving air conditioners in Japan this summer. Some of copper sheet and strip makers are said to increase the productions for October-December when the demand is improving for automotive connector pins.