BEIJING, Nov. 9 -- China's State Reserve Bureau has bought a total of 235,000 metric tons of copper this year as well as 590,000 tons of aluminum, an official with the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said.
The bureau has also bought 159,000 tons of zinc, 30 tons of indium and 5,000 tons of titanium, Shang Fushan, vice chairman of the association, wrote in slides to be presented at a conference in Wuhan today. The state bureau, also known as the SRB, is in charge of stockpiling copper and other commodities.
Copper, used in pipes and power cables, has doubled in London this year as China's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus spending and state stockpiling boosted imports to a record, and the world recovered from its worst recession since World War II, increasing demand for raw materials.
The copper surplus in China so far this year may be as much as 1.2 million tons after a "very unusual" surge in first-half imports, state-owned researcher Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. said on Sept. 25. The estimate included State Reserve Bureau purchases, Antaike's senior analyst Li Yusheng said.
Still, Chinese investors holding metal inventories are unlikely to sell them quickly as they have adequate levels of cash on hand, Jeremy Goldwyn, who oversees business development in Asia for London-based Sucden Financial Ltd., said Oct. 27.
Consumer stockpiles of copper, excluding government inventories, could be as much as 600,000 to 700,000 metric tons, Martin Squires, executive director at JPMorgan Securities Ltd. in London, also said Oct 27.