U.S. Copper Consumption Reaches Record High, Again

July 10, 2001


NEW YORK, NY— For the fifth-straight year domestic consumption of copper and copper alloy mill products reached a record high. The 2000 level of 9,551 million pounds is a 4.2% increase from the revised 1999 level of 9,169 million pounds and a 25.9% increase from 1995 levels. Exports of mill products in 2000 continued to grow also, up 11.3% at 890 million pounds, versus imports of 1,380 million pounds, an increase of 24% over the previous year.

U.S. copper mine production dropped to 3,247 million pounds from last year's all-time high of 4,220 million pounds, according to "Annual Data 2001 - Copper Supply and Consumption, 1980-2000," 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 on CDA's Web Site.

Electrowon copper production was down 3.4% at 1,248 million pounds, while smelter production at 2,202 million pounds represented a decline of 23.0%. Total production of refined copper at 3,975 million pounds was 20.8% behind the previous year, and consumption of refined copper at 6,487 million pounds was down 0.4%. The direct consumption of scrap was up 0.8% at 2,422 million pounds.

Building construction continued to be the largest end-use market for copper products, accounting for nearly two-fifths, 39.1%, of total U.S. consumption. Electrical and electronic products accounted for 27.6% of total usage; transportation equipment, 11.5%; industrial machinery and equipment, 10.6%; and consumer and general products, 11.2%.

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