U.S. Copper Consumption Dips in 2001

June 28, 2002


NEW YORK, NY— For the first time in five years, domestic consumption of copper and copper alloy mill products did not reach a record high. The 2001 level of 8,196 million pounds is a 15.5% decrease from the revised 2000 level of 9,583 million pounds. Exports of mill products in 2001 fell also, down 10% to 797 million pounds. Imports, at 1,010 million pounds, decreased 26.5% from the previous year.

U.S. copper mine production dropped 7.5% to 2,950 million pounds from last year's 3,190 million pounds, according to "Annual Data 2002 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1981-2001," 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 and may be viewed in our Market Data section.

Electrowon copper production was up 13.4% at 1,392 million pounds, while smelter production at 2,082 million pounds represented a decline of 5.5%. Total production of refined copper at 3,956 million pounds showed virtually no change from 2000 levels, and consumption of refined copper at 5,178 million pounds was down 13.8%. The direct consumption of scrap was down 4.8% at 2,290 million pounds.

Building construction continued to be the largest end-use market for copper products, accounting for more than two-fifths, 45.1%, of total U.S. consumption. Electrical and electronic products accounted for 26.3% of total usage; transportation equipment, 9%; industrial machinery and equipment, 9.3%; and consumer and general products, 10.4%.

The Copper Development Association Inc. is the technical and market development arm of the copper, brass and bronze industry in the United States.