Copper lead times out, raising import fears

Mar 26, 2013 | 11:26 AM | Suzy Waite

Tags  Copper, brass, service centers, Aurubis, lead times, automotive, ammunition, housing President Obama

NEW YORK — Service centers are reporting extending lead times for all copper and brass products on the back of strong demand from the automotive and housing sectors, which could encourage some buyers to turn to imports.

Lead times for medium-gauge copper products are anywhere from eight to 14 weeks, out from four to six weeks previously, while lead times for certain light-gauge material are out as long as 18 weeks from 12 weeks previously, service centers told AMM.

Copper and brass mill Aurubis AG, Hamburg, Germany, said in a March 20 letter that "strip products are in higher demand, especially in the U.S."

Service centers confirmed the trend. "We have seen lead times move out quite a bit. In general, lead times are probably out to 12 to 14 weeks," a source at one service center told AMM. "Strip is where we’re seeing most of the demand. Automotive is still strong and housing is holding its own." ....

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