Copper Alloy Product Dealers Suggest Weak Demand Trend in Japan

Market Research Committee of Tokyo Copper Alloy Products Distributors Association held a monthly press conference in Tokyo on October 26 and gave a market overview that demand for copper alloy fabricated products is totally deteriorating. The demand maintains weak from semiconductor and digital appliance industries while volatile copper market price brakes the users’ material procurement. The orders have recovered from car industry but the market condition may turn worse in next months, the committee suggested.

Copper strip shipment maintains slow for lead frames when sales of electronic appliances such as liquid crystal panel televisions are stagnant. The committee added extremely strong yen trend is lowering price competitiveness of Japanese copper strip exports. The committee analyzed the demand might not hit bottom before January-March 2012.

On the other hand, brass strip shipment is currently recovering for automotive connectors. The committee said the latest demand volume is almost the same level as a year earlier. However, flood in Thailand is causing operative suspension of Japanese car makers at present. The committee pointed out negative possibility that the demand might downturn in a short term.

As for copper tubes, high demand since last year has completely settled down. Copper tube makers’ delivery lead time returned to the normal length in and after September. Market inventory of coated copper tube is increasing and the market price seems slightly declining. Construction related demand is also slow since the users maintain material procurement just for the immediate usage due to volatile copper market price.