Japan Cu Alloy Fabricated Products Demand Bottom Level

Market Research Committee of Tokyo Copper Alloy Products Distributors Association held a monthly press conference in Tokyo on February 28 and gave a market overview that demand for copper alloy fabricated products is totally at the bottom level. The committee showed an expectation for demand increase related to rebuilding activity in the disaster areas by the major earthquake while the total demand condition is likely to maintain stagnant in March.

The committee analyzed copper strip shipment is seriously decreasing for lead frames and connectors those which are applied to consumer electronics. Meanwhile, brass strip shipment is relatively steady mainly for automotive connectors and the demand is expected to represent stable in and after March.

Brass bar shipment is very slow as total though several market participants suggest the demand is starting to emerge related to rebuilding activity in northern part of Japan. Copper tube shipment is also lowering significantly. Copper tube demand season starts in and after March every year while the committee pointed out the demand recovery seems slow this year.

Demand is also weak for phosphor bronze sheet and strip used for connectors, switches and relays inside consumer electronics. The committee estimated the total demand is as much as two major Japanese phosphor bronze suppliers’ output capacities among total five major makers.