Japan H1 copper output to edge lower due to maintenance plans

lunes 6 de abril de 2015 04:45 GYT

TOKYO, April 6 (Reuters) - Japan's copper output is expected
to fall 0.6 percent in the first half of fiscal 2015/16 from
April to September compared with a year earlier, Reuters
calculations from plans outlined by smelters showed, affected by
maintenance plans.
    Lower output from the world's No.3 copper refiner may
support copper prices, which have recovered 12 percent
since a Jan. 26 low, helped by mine closures in key producer
Chile due to heavy rain and a slow pick-up in seasonal demand
from top consumer China.
    Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd, Japan's No.2 copper
producer, plans a 6.7 percent cut in copper output for the six
months as it starts to wind down for a 25-day maintenance at
Toyo Smelter & Refinery in Ehime, western Japan, from late
    Furukawa Co Ltd sees a 2.6 percent fall in output
for the first half from the same period a year ago, when it
boosted output ahead of maintenance in the second half.
    But the country's top copper smelter, Pan Pacific Copper
(PPC), a unit of JX Holdings Inc, said it aimed to
boost output by 1.9 percent for the six months.
    "Domestic demand in the construction segment is fairly
strong on the back of redevelopment projects in Tokyo
metropolitan area and reconstruction projects in northeastern
Japan," PPC spokesman Yusuke Handa said.
    Japan's northeastern region was ravaged by a powerful
earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
    Japanese copper demand has been recovering, with urban
development projects and the refurbishment of old infrastructure
to withstand earthquakes boosting appetite for electric wire.
    Last month the Japanese Electric Wire & Cable Makers'
Association forecast a 0.4 percent rise in wire supply from
Japanese factories in fiscal 2015/16 to 725,000 tonnes, helped
by stable construction demand.    
    PPC, which exports about 43-45 percent of its output, also
sees firm demand for exports to China and Southeast Asia. 
    Mitsubishi Materials Corp plans a 4.6 percent
increase in its output, while DOWA Holdings Co Ltd and 
  Nittetsu Mining Co Ltd expect flat output.      
    Below are the production plans for April-September, compared
with year-earlier output, of non-ferrous metals from PPC,
Sumitomo Metal, Mitsubishi Materials, DOWA, Furukawa, Mitsui
Mining and Smelting Co Ltd, Nittetsu and Toho Zinc Co
               H1           H2          H1           H1 Yr/Yr
               FY2015/16    FY2014/15   FY2014/15             
 Pan Pacific       289,700     292,400      284,200      1.94%
 Sumitomo          202,400     219,000      217,000     -6.73%
 Mitsubishi        164,268     141,798      157,080      4.58%
 DOWA               56,859      53,661       56,788      0.13%
 Furukawa           45,834      43,333        47045     -2.57%
 Nittetsu           23,106      20,385       23,106      0.00%
 TOTAL             782,167     772,439      786,919     -0.60%
 Mitsui            106,500     117,100      106,100      0.38%
 DOWA               85,639      94,995       83,389      2.70%
 Toho Zinc          46,500      59,307       53,533    -13.14%
 Sumitomo           23,000      26,500       23,500     -2.13%
 TOTAL             261,639     294,532      267,107     -2.05%
 Toho Zinc          47,800      40,502       47,908     -0.23%
 Mitsui             30,200      35,200       31,100     -2.89%
 Mitsubishi         13,638      14,958       14,130     -3.48%
 DOWA                4,097       6,785        7,588    -46.01%
 TOTAL              95,735      98,243      101,065     -5.27%
 Sumitomo           31,700      29,500       28,200     12.41%
 Sumitomo           10,000      11,600        9,800      2.04%

 (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Alan Raybould)