Japan Cu Tube Users Build Inventory in Case of Shortage

Japanese copper tube users are increasing copper tube inventory. The users expect potential supply shortage in and after next spring when domestic makers could reduce the production capacity.

Japanese copper tube industry source said the users and trading firms in the largest user of air conditioner industry are increasing copper tube inventory. The users are increasing the inventory preparing for potential supply shortage when the demand increases seasonally in March-July.

Hitachi Cable announced the firm will withdraw from domestic copper tube production by the end of March 2012. Furukawa Electric reduced the major part of production mainly for commodity grade products in 2011. The supply would get tight for refrigerant applications and commodity grade in and after spring.

Japanese copper tube makers’ order receipt decrease in December. One industry source sees the users apparently reduce the order when they completed target level of inventory building. The supply could get tighter soon when some industry interests see the demand would increase for air conditioner as early as in January.