U.S. Copper Usage Down in 2002

June 30, 2003


NEW YORK, NY— U.S. copper usage dropped for the second year in a row. The 2002 level of 7,313 million pounds is a 6.0% decrease from the revised 2001 level of 7,780 million pounds. Exports of mill products in 2002 fell also, down 7.1% to 735 million pounds. Imports, at 909 million pounds, decreased 8.3% from the previous year.

U.S. copper mine production dropped 14.8% to 2,516 million pounds from last year's 2,954 million pounds, according to "Annual Data 2003 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1982-2002," published this month 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 down 4.3% at 1,324 million pounds, while smelter production at 1,506 million pounds represented a decline of 25.7%. Total production of refined copper at 3,332 million pounds dipped 15.0% from 2001 levels, and consumption of refined copper at 5,174 million pounds was down 9.9%. The direct consumption of scrap was up slightly by 4.1% at 2,242 million pounds.

Building construction (3,384 million pounds) continued to be the largest end-use market for copper products, accounting for nearly half, 46.3%, of total U.S. usage. Electrical and electronic products (1,662 million pounds) accounted for 22.7% of total usage; transportation equipment (744 million pounds), 10.2%; industrial machinery and equipment (725 million pounds), 9.9%; and consumer and general products (798 million pounds), 10.9%.

Note to Editors: Readers may obtain CD-ROM copies of " Annual Data 2003 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1982-2002 " for $10.00 each from the Copper Development Association Inc., 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, or by calling 800-480-4276.