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Global Copper Wire Market on the Lookout for Supply and Demand Clarity
Global Copper Wire Market on the Lookout for Supply and Demand Clarity

Global Copper Wire Market on the Lookout for Supply and Demand Clarity

  • 06-Mar-2023 3:50 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

Global Copper Wire prices showed stagnancy in their price movement in the first week of March, following multiple sessions in which prices moved dramatically. According to market participants, the spot Copper Wire market is quiet, with production continuing as planned. Meanwhile, end-users catering their needs under long-term contract quotas and avoid the spot market. Long-term contracts began at a much higher rate in 2023, up to 85% year on year. A trader stated that most material from 2022 has now been snapped up, implying that Copper Wire prices are beginning to normalize to new long-term levels.

Copper Wire prices were broadly stable in the week ending March 3, 2023, aided by steady demand from downstream electronics, automotive, and energy transition-based demand in the European market. According to market participants, there is no liquidity in the Italian market, but there has been an upsurge in interest rates in the region. Market participants received a few new inquiries for Italy, citing the market's quietness during the previous pricing session. Several sources cited that the improved purchasing activity led to an increased demand for Copper Wire from the electronic sector. However, the increase does not imply that Copper Wire demand is strong, as buying activity remained unchanged. According to one trader, despite expectations that prices would "move up closer to long-term contract levels," no such movement had occurred.

While the US spot market for Copper Wire remained quiet, production continued as planned, and buyers met their necessities under long-term contract quotas rather than on the spot market. There is no spot purchasing activity; everyone is still working with their quotas for January and February. People worked through their year-end inventory in January; players would not expect a lot of spot business in March because major players are already contracted. However, some market participants stated that they were keeping a close eye on developments on the supply and demand sides of Copper Wire. According to a US trader, spot trading activity in Q2 2023 for Copper Wire will be ascertained by repair work at Rio Tinto's Kennecott smelter in Utah and whether the shutdown lasts longer than expected.

Furthermore, Chinese Copper Wire market participants are anticipating a recovery in downstream inquiries in March 2023. Import conditions for Chinese market participants remained unfavorable in February and early March, but some spot activity still led to slightly higher prices for Copper Wire with March arrivals. Overall, spot business for Copper Wire remained at lower levels due to a prolonged arbitrage loss that offered no incentives for spot buying. The market is in such circumstances that neither buyers want to buy nor sellers want to sell. Everyone is waiting for clarity on the price momentum in March.

As a ripple effect, ChemAnalyst anticipates that the price of Copper Wire will rise in March 2023, as it is the peak month in the first quarter, with buyers trying to assess their future needs despite their long-term contract quotas. Market participants expressed concern about economic developments, which could affect demand for Copper Wire.

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