Construction demand boosts US copper industry; Covid-19 concerns remain

A strong recovery in end demand for copper products in the third quarter of 2020 has boosted the copper industry in the United States, though the escalating number of coronavirus cases remains the biggest risk for the financial health of the world’s largest economy.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to ravage the country, poses unique challenges, but has also opened new avenues for demand growth, major market participants noted during a virtual panel discussion.
Organized by the American Copper Council, industry participants across the copper chain took part in a lively panel moderated by Fastmarkets’ special correspondent Andrea Hotter on Thursday November 12, discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the US copper industry.
Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan had seen a "big hit" on demand in the second quarter, but has since seen a “remarkable recovery” in the third quarter, especially in the construction sector, said Stephen Higgins, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Freeport-McMoRan.
Copper wire and cable maker Southwire saw its volumes fall by 25-30% in March-April, but demand has recovered since mid-summer, according to Charlie Murrah, Southwire’s executive vice president.

“The residential construction demand is very good,” Murrah said, adding...

Published

Rijuta Dey Bera

November 16, 2020

01:55 GMT

New York