Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Copper imports by China, the world's largest consumer, climbed for a second month in December, extending a rebound from an 11-month low, as domestic prices strengthened on rising demand.
Refined copper shipments increased to 244,013 metric tons, the customs office said today. That's 26 percent more than November's level, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Shipments dropped in October to the lowest since November 2008, the data showed.
Copper prices rose to the highest level since August 2008 on the London Metal Exchange this month as the global economy recovers from the worst recession since World War II. Chinese after-tax prices have been above those in London since December, according to Bloomberg calculations. The Asian nation's growth rate accelerated to the fastest pace since 2007 in the fourth quarter.
"Imports turned profitable and they are unlikely to decline in the first quarter" with sustained momentum in the economy, Gu Jianjun, a trading manager at Jinyuan Futures Co., said from Shanghai today.
Purchases of refined copper by China more than doubled percent to 3.19 million tons last year, customs said. The country's gross domestic product rose 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter from a year before, capping Premier Wen Jiabao's success in shielding the nation from the global recession and adding pressure to rein in a surge in credit.
Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange added 0.2 percent to $7,390 a ton at 6:13 p.m. in Shanghai. Shanghai copper ended down 0.1 percent at 60,970 yuan ($8,931) a ton.