Copper, Brass Shipments Increase 18 Percent in 2010
Despite an 11 percent dip in total copper and brass shipments in December compared to the previous month, 2010 ended on a positive note for copper and brass distributors. Year-end shipping totals were 18 percent higher than year-end 2009, according to the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association, Overland Park, Kan.
Total copper shipments of 108 million pounds were 15.8 percent higher in 2010 than the previous year. Alloy shipments totaled 155 million pounds, up 19.6 percent compared to the previous year.
In December, copper shipments totaled 8.2 million pounds, up 8.3 percent compared to the same month in 2009. Alloy shipments totaled 11.0 million pounds, up 1.9 percent on last year. Altogether, total warehouse shipments were up 4.5 percent compared to the same month in 2009.
Looking forward, service centers started to see an increase in orders that bodes well for the first quarter of 2011. Service centers and suppliers alike report an expected increase in incoming orders during the first quarter. Copper and brass bar and rod hold the most promise as OEMs increase their production. Copper and brass sheet continue to lag in correlation to the construction industry.
Inventory levels, meanwhile, remain fairly consistent. The same is true for lead times. Almost 80 percent of suppliers reported no change in lead times, according to CBSA officials.