Chinese import rise puts lead, zinc, refined copper at new records for March

Apr 22, 2009 | 10:26 AM |

Chinese imports of nonferrous metals continue to rise, with the nation's lead, zinc and refined copper intake hitting fresh records in March.

Driven by arbitrage and sharply lower domestic production, refined zinc imports rose 57 percent to 121,027 tonnes during the month and refined lead intake rose 39 percent to 25,370 tonnes compared with a month earlier, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs. The volumes were up 1,194 percent and 7,004 percent, respectively, year on year.

Lead and zinc prices in Shanghai were higher than those on the London Metal Exchange for most of February and March, encouraging arbitrage by domestic traders, according to one trader at Xinan Futures Co.....

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