May's demand was 358,000 tons, up from April's 295,000 tons. It is still short of the 419,000 tons a year ago (61,000 tons).
However you need to look to the US where the auto industry is selling over 15,000,000 units a year and home construction is generating over 1 million units a year. With 40 pounds of copper going into every car and 450 pounds into every house, you have an increase demand of 20,000 tons a month. Then with the other industries increasing in the US, the remaining 39,000 ton shortfall is easily made up.
To take the opposite view, if housing is doing so well, then why are lumber prices falling so much? Second, China just cancelled a complex financing scheme to finance copper supplies. There was an article that said that it could lead to the dumping of copper.
First, lumber suppliers went to over capacity as housing turned the corner, it will take time to bring the supply back in line. As a builder, I am seeing 5 times more houses going up than I saw last year and you just need to look at new home sales which are improving every month.
Second, the Chinese supply cycle has bottomed and they will start rebuilding stockpiles. The Chinese are not like the US companies that operate on a Just in Time supply chain where they lock into long term contract pricing. The Chinese go with spot pricing, build inventory when the price is low and draw down their stockpiles when the price is high. Carrying inventory takes cash away from the business so they take loans against the supply stockpiles to offset the reduced cash position. Basically they cancelled the financing scheme so they can use their supplies. There will be no dumping of copper.