U.S. Copper Consumption Reaches Record High

July 13, 1998


NEW YORK, NY— Domestic consumption of copper and copper alloy mill products reached a record high in 1997 of 8,310 million pounds, a 5.3% increase from the revised 1996 level of 7,890 million pounds. Exports of mill products in 1997 continued to grow also, up 11.9% at 766.1 million pounds, versus imports of 912.8 million pounds, an increase of 12.9% over the previous year.

U.S. copper mine production rose also to an all-time high of 4,220 million pounds, according to " Annual Data 1998 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1977-1997" published recently by the Copper Development Association Inc. The report covers the industry's vital statistics from mine to end-use market over the past two decades.

Electrowon copper production was up 1.2% at 1,280 million pounds, while smelter production at 3,810 million pounds represented an increase of 5.4%. Total production of refined copper at 5,389 million pounds was 4.4% ahead of the previous year, and consumption of refined copper at 6,080 million pounds was up 5.8%. The direct consumption of scrap was up 7.0% at 2,326 million pounds.

Building construction continued to be the largest end use market for copper products, accounting for more than two-fifths (41.8%) of total U.S. consumption. Electrical and electronic products accounted for 24.8% of total usage; transportation equipment, 12.8%; industrial machinery and equipment, 11.5%; and consumer and general products, 9.1%.

" Annual Data 1998 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1977-1997," is now available both in print and online. Readers may obtain copies of this publication for $10.00 each from the Copper Development Association Inc., 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.