CRU revises down 2015 global metallic wire & cable demand

Global data analysis and consulting company, CRU, said that it has revised up its demand estimate for insulated metallic wire and cable for 2014 based on recently published data, but has reduced its 2015 forecast from 3.8% to 3.2%.

"With full year trade data now available for most countries along with other 2014 data that CRU monitors, we have made some revisions to our estimates for the global insulated metallic wire and cable market," writes Rob Daniels, principal consultant, Wire & Cable, CRU in the latest edition of the quarterly Wire & Cable Market Outlook Report.

As a result CRU have slightly revised up the growth estimate in 2014 from 3.3% to 3.5%. The latest trade data has resulted in higher consumption estimates for North America as a result of larger than expected imports, and CRU have increased consumption estimates for Africa, where there has been good growth in North Africa, other than in Libya.

Partially balancing this has been a significant downgrade in CRU's estimates for Russia, where the impact of sanctions has had a bigger impact on the wire and cable market than had previously been thought. In the fibre optic cable sector CRU have only made some small changes overall and now estimate global consumption growth at 11.9% compared to 12.1%. The slightly stronger metallic cable growth means that CRU's estimate for the total value of the global insulated wire and cable market is very slightly higher at $173 billion, 0.6% lower than in 2013.

As well as a review of the global cable market with a range of detailed statistics, this report also covers two regions of the world in more detail in each issue with the regions in the latest report being Africa and Turkey/Iran/Iraq. In Africa there was double digit growth in metallic cable production led by strong growth in Egypt and Morocco, but this region as a whole still only accounts for just over 3% of total world production despite being home to 15% of the world's population. Outside of North Africa and South Africa production remains small, with the majority of the market being supplied by imports.

The Iraqi market suffered its first fall since the end of the Gulf War, with the rise of Islamic State in the North of the country, causing projects in this region to be halted. This, coupled with the fall in the oil price, means that the government faces significant problems in balancing the budget in 2015. In Iran the prospects of an agreement on the country's nuclear programme has raised the possibility that sanctions may be lifted, which would provide a boost to wire and cable demand, but it is by no means certain that a final agreement will be achieved. Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wire and cable, and it is the biggest supplier to the Iraq market, so what happens in Iraq will be an important factor in wire and cable production growth this year.

Despite the better than expected outturn for 2014, there has been a marked deterioration in the outlook for 2015 based on a slow start to the year and weaker economic growth forecasts. "It has been a slow start to the year in China with little growth in Q1, and although we expect a better performance in the rest of the year not all the lost ground will be made up. It has also been a slow start to the year in North America and the Brazilian economy also remains weak. We are also forecasting another sharp fall in the Russian market this year which will limit total European growth. With the average copper price forecast to fall again the total market value is expected to continue to edge slightly lower," writes Daniels.

CRU published the latest edition of its quarterly Wire & Cable Market Outlook Report at the end of April 2015.

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