Provided by CRU
We have covered the topic of raw materials in previous editions of the ICF Newsletter, but with raw material prices continuing to play an important role in the cable industry and price volatility now a factor of life, we have again revisited this issue to see what has changed in the last couple of years and what the future now holds. Following the rapid rise in prices of many important raw materials in 2005 and 2006 there was a sharp fall in 2009, followed by a fairly quick recovery up to another peak in early 2011. Since then prices generally have been edging lower, but with no really clear direction in evidence.
Apart from the dip in late 2008 and early 2009 the cable industry has mostly become used to operating in an environment of rising raw material prices. In the last year or so though many prices such as copper and aluminium have been gradually falling and this presents a new challenge for the cable industry. We will look at what the outlook is for the price of key raw materials and what this might mean for cable industry turnover. We will also revisit the issue of substitution of copper by other materials in the face of the outlook for copper prices.