The deterioration in the economic outlook, particularly in Europe and North East Asia has led CRU Group to downgrade FY 2014 growth in the global insulated metallic wire and cable industry from 4% to 3.6%. We have also made a modest revision to our growth forecast for the fibre optic cable market, although this is still expected to be in double figures at just over 10%.
With the average copper price forecast to fall by around 6% this year, the total value of the global insulated wire and cable market is still expected to be roughly flat at around $175 billion, with the growth in volume balancing out slightly lower prices.
However, CRU is still confident that 2013 will prove to be the bottom of the current economic cycle and that growth in the global insulated metallic wire and cable industry will be higher in 2014 than in 2013.
CRU's growth projections are discussed in more detail in the latest edition of its quarterly Wire & Cable Market Outlook Report. 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 Northern Europe and North East Asia.
These are both parts of the developed world and as such the cable market is currently well down on its peak and the recovery remains slow and patchy. In Northern Europe, which comprises Germany, the UK, the Nordic Region, Benelux and Ireland, total insulated metallic wire and cable production fell by 5.5%, which took output back to a similar level to 2009. Germany is by far the largest producer in this region accounting for just over 60% of the total.
In North East Asia, which is made up of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, insulated metallic cable production also fell, although the 0.7% drop was not as severe as in Northern Europe. In this region Japan remains the largest producer at just over 50% of the total, but South Korea is slowly gaining share. For North East Asia we are forecasting that there will be some growth in production in 2014, helped by a good start to the year in Japan, but for Western Europe as a whole we are not expecting any growth in metallic cable output in 2014, although there should not be any further contraction.