Current data suggests we may be entering an uncertain time in the wire & cable industry with regard to material availability. In addition to recent reports of possible shortages/allocations of PTFE, there has been growing evidence of copper conductor availability issues. We have seen an increase in suppliers struggling to meet promised delivery dates on current orders and quoting significantly longer than typical lead times on new material.
Recent reports by industry experts have also highlighted potential wage negotiation difficulties at various copper mines, including the world’s largest operation in Escondida Chile, as a high number of contracts are scheduled to come to an end this year. Coupled with increasing production costs due to lower copper content in ores and tighter environmental regulations, the industry is facing a high potential for continued supply disruption throughout 2018. Current consensus estimates are citing a supply/demand deficit of 45,500 tonnes.
Whitmor/Wirenetics is working diligently to minimize disruptions for our customers. We understand the importance of uninterrupted material flow and are taking steps to reduce the impact of any possible shortages. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation to provide valuable information for our customers so that we can lead the industry together as we move forward in 2018.
Please feel free to contact your Account Manager with any questions or for assistance in taking additional preventative measures.