Japan Nonferrous Metal Industry Enjoys Better Demand

Japan Mining Industry Association’s new chairman Sadao Senda said at first press conference on Thursday Japanese nonferrous metal smelters will regain profitability in fiscal 2010 starting April when their profitability is getting stable through the effort including cost cutting. The president of Mitsui Mining & Smelting warns the smelters should be careful for uncertainty under plunging metal prices, higher yen rate and tight supply of raw materials along with risks in political and economical instability in the world.

Mr. Senda said the order receipt is relative firm in and after April. He said the demand for electronic materials also keeps strong without slowdown while the demand usually gets into adjustment after Chinese New Year holiday. He expects the demand will be no problem through August.

Mr. Senda said world copper supply is almost balanced in 2010. He expects Japanese copper demand could reach 1 million tonnes under higher demand for automobile while the demand decreased to around 900,000 tonnes in 2009, which decreased to less than 1 million tonnes for the first time in 34 years.

Mr. Senda said Chinese copper import could decrease to less than 2 million tonnes while the import hit 3.1 million tonnes in 2009 due to the national stockpile. He expects Japanese copper export also decreases for China.