U.S. Copper Usage Down in 2003

July 1, 2004


NEW YORK, NY— U.S. copper usage dropped for the third year in a row. The 2003 level of 6,984 million pounds is a 4.6% decrease from the revised 2002 level of 7,324 million pounds. Exports of mill products in 2003 fell also, down 1.5% to 742 million pounds. Imports, at 960 million pounds, were up 1.2% from the previous year.

U.S. copper mine production dropped slightly by 2.0% to 2,460 million pounds from last year's 2,512 million pounds, according to "Annual Data 2004 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1983-2003," 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 the Market Data section.

Electrowon copper production was down 1.5% at 1,304 million pounds, while smelter production at 1,188 million pounds represented a decline of 21.1%. Total production of refined copper at 2,880 million pounds dipped 13.6% from 2002 levels, and consumption of refined copper at 5,062 million pounds was down 3.1%. The direct consumption of scrap was down by 5.2% at 2,042 million pounds.

Building construction (3,382 million pounds) continued to be the largest end-use market for copper products, accounting for nearly half, 48.4%, of total U.S. usage. Electrical and electronic products (1,450 million pounds) accounted for 20.7% of total usage; consumer and general products (759 million pounds), 10.9%; transportation equipment (724 million pounds), 10.4%; and industrial machinery and equipment (675 million pounds), 9.6%.

Composition of End-use Markets

Building Construction: building wire, plumbing and heating, air conditioning and commercial refrigeration, builders hardware, architecture.

Electrical and Electronic Products: power utilities, telecommunications, business electronics, lighting and wiring devices.

Industrial Machinery and Equipment: in-plant equipment, industrial valves and fittings, non-electrical instruments, off-highway vehicles, heat exchangers.

Transportation Equipment: automobiles, trucks and buses, railroads, marine, aircraft and aerospace.

Consumer and General Products: appliances, cord sets, military and commercial ordnance, consumer electronics, fasteners and closures, coinage, utensils and cutlery, miscellaneous.

Note: CD-ROM copies of "Annual Data 2004 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1983-2003," may be purchased for $10.00 each from the Copper Development Association Inc., 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.