In the first quarter of 2023, Copper Wire prices in the US rose due to the banking meltdown's effect on inflation and interest rates. Market players observed that lower copper prices resulted in increased demand before traditionally high-demand periods, such as April and May. As the market searched for indications of a solid post-pandemic recovery, a reduction in inventory build-up suggested a rise in demand. Manufacturers' input purchasing had decreased, resulting in shorter lead times and fewer logistical delays. Firms opted to deplete inventories, causing stocks of purchased and finished goods to decrease. The Silicon Valley Bank's failure in mid-March had a small effect. In March, lower prices and more competitive payment terms drove the first-half recovery of orders, but new orders sharply declined in the second half, with concerns of a further drop in April. Spot premiums declined before bouncing back due to cash flow issues and market player tactics. The loss from copper imports increased, reducing the inflow of imported copper and the supply of copper plates in the global market. As a ripple effect, the Copper Wire (0.2 inches) prices for CFR San Diego (USA) settled at USD 7428/MT.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Chinese Copper Wire market experienced an upswing in prices due to increased downstream inquiries from the power transmission and distribution sector. However, many downstream small and medium-sized cable firms began shutting preparations before the Spring Festival break, resulting in a decrease in demand for copper and a slowdown in production pace for copper Wire enterprises. Production and downstream firms progressively recovered in mid-Q1, but refined copper consumption remained low, and spot prices remained discounted. Terminal consumption and orders also recovered slowly. By March, the Copper Wire market was destocking, and demand was beginning to rebound, albeit it was unclear whether the terminal order situation would remain favorable. Copper concentrate delivery and transportation were enhanced, new refined copper production capacity was put into operation, and raw materials were loosened to improve supply.
In Q1 2023, the European copper wire market experienced a rise in prices due to increased demand for refined copper and low inventory levels across all three exchanges. The surge in raw material prices caused by banking instability further compounded this issue. Despite these factors, some buyers avoided Russian copper due to significant inventories in futures warehouses. Additionally, the spot market was impacted by Europe's constrained supply, uncertainty in demand, and record-high annual contract prices. Market participants noted that a banking meltdown in global markets caused by the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse impacted Copper Rod Prices, resulting in price volatility due to reduced stocks. This caused issues for traders, producers, and consumers alike. Although there was a recent jump in orders, it was mainly due to a significant drop in copper prices rather than an increase in genuine end-user demand. Buyers reported falling inventories compared to 2022. During the previous week, there were limited new orders, and as copper prices recovered towards the end of the week, the drop in downstream orders became more apparent.
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