Chinas copper imports hit a record high in January as
buyers expedited shipments ahead of the Chinese New Year
Imports of unwrought
copper and copper-fabricated products totaled 536,000 tonnes in
January, up 53.2 percent from the same month last year and a
21.5-percent increase from December, according to preliminary
figures from Chinese customs released Feb. 12.
"This large increase
may have been caused by importers wanting to avoid cargoes
arriving during the Chinese New Year and bringing their
shipping schedules forward to January," one domestic trader
said. "February imports are expected to show a decrease."
Metal Exchange copper stocks have decreased recently.
"LME inventory may
transfer to China and ... the stocks of copper held in
Chinas bonded warehouses are estimated to amount to more
than 600,000 tonnes," one China-based commodity analyst said.
"But still, I think the customs figure of 536,000 tonnes of
copper imports is too high for January, considering the copper
financing business slowed down as we approached the Chinese New
Shanghai copper spot
premiums remained at $165 to $175 per tonne in January.
exported 320,000 tonnes of unwrought aluminum and aluminum
products in January, up 14.3 percent from 280,000 tonnes in the
same month last year and a five times the 63,853 tonnes seen in
December, with some analysts citing arbitrage
"There were arbitrage
windows in January due to the high-flying spot premiums in
global markets. Some companies just took the chance and
re-exported," another analyst said.
A version of this
article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal