June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s copper wire and cable shipments climbed 2.1 percent in May from a year earlier, increasing for the first time in six months on a pick-up in deliveries to construction companies, an industry group said.
Shipments totaled 54,200 metric tons last month, compared with 53,067 tons a year earlier, the Japanese Electric Wire & Cable Makers’ Association said today in a statement. Deliveries were 54,945 tons in April, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier.
Japan’s total exports rose more than forecast in May as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus, dubbed as Abenomics, weakened the yen against the dollar. At the same time, the nation’s trade balance fell for the 11th straight month as the weaker yen boosted the costs of imports, a Finance Ministry report showed on June 19.
“Shipments to the construction industry gave a boost,” said Keiichi Ohki, an official at the association’s research department. “Still, demand from automakers and the electric-machinery industry remained subdued as the weaker yen raised the cost of electricity.”
Copper-cable shipments to the construction industry climbed 9.5 percent in May from a year earlier, while those to automakers fell 9 percent and deliveries to the electric machinery industry declined 5.1 percent, the association said.
The Japanese currency has fallen 10 percent against the dollar this year amid Abe’s unprecedented monetary stimulus. The yen touched 103.74 on May 17, the weakest since October 2008.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell 1 percent to $6,891 a ton at 12:11 p.m. in Tokyo, slumping for a fourth day. The metal lost 13 percent this year.
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