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Japan Copper Cable Shipments Climb on Automobile Demand

Japan’s copper wire and cable shipments increased 2.9 percent in December from a year earlier as demand from the auto and construction industries climbed, an industry group said.

Shipments, including exports and to the domestic market, rose to 58,400 metric tons from 56,739 tons, the Japanese Electric Wire & Cable Makers’ Association said in an e-mailed statement today. Deliveries totaled 60,429 tons in November, down 0.4 percent from a year earlier.

“Strong demand from the auto industry lent support and pushed the data higher,” said Nobuyuki Goto, deputy general manager at the association’s research department.

Shipments were little changed at 680,600 tons in 2011 from 680,941 tons in the previous year, the group said. Deliveries to the auto and construction industries rose 21 percent and 4.3 percent in December, while shipments to the power, electric machinery and exports areas fell 13 percent, 4.4 percent and 6.5 percent, it said.

The country’s output of copper and copper-alloy fabricated products, including sheets and tubes, slumped 12 percent to 60,530 tons in December from a year ago, falling for a seventh month as export demand slowed, the Japan Copper & Brass Association said Jan. 20, citing preliminary data.

Output fell 4.9 percent to 824,500 tons in 2011 from a year earlier, the association said. In December, production for domestic consumption declined 8.2 percent to 52,038 tons, while output for exports plunged 30.3 percent to 8,492 tons, it said.

Copper for three-month delivery was little changed at $8,217 per ton on the London Metal Exchange at 1:04 p.m. Tokyo time.

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