• Copper

Copper consumption will decline going forward as the price differential between the red metal and aluminum continues to encourage substitution, according to Jim Vann, Rea Magnet Wire Co. President.

Vann attributed the change to copper prices increasing an average of 8.5 percent annually since the 1980s while aluminum prices have remained low.

Vann said he has seen many changes in the industry, including the switch to aluminum, the increase in copper prices and the consolidation of the industry.

The danger of more volatility is that if customers don’t know what prices will be from one month to the next, it will be difficult to pirce and sell products in the long term.

Excerpts from American Metal Market June 14, 2013