SHANGHAI, Mar. 1 (SMM) --
According to China Customs, China's imports of copper concentrate were 598.1 kt in January, up 18.8% YoY, and up 18.82% MoM. China's copper concentrate imports were higher under the context of no significant changes expected in 2010 copper concentrate TC/RC due to improvements in the SHFE/LME copper price ratio in January and low inventories of copper concentrate at copper smelters. China's imports of copper concentrate are expected to grow as copper smelting capacity expands.
According to China Customs, China's imports of refined copper during January were 196.9 kt, up 9.11%YoY, but down 19.30% MoM. The SHFE/LME copper price ratio was largely unfavorable for imports since 2H 2009, and large amounts of imported copper were piled up in bonded areas. Following improved ratio since December 2009, goods in bonded areas entered markets, reducing the need for additional imports, contributing to the significant month-on-month decline in refined copper imports. In addition, new measures for controlling credit by China's Central Bank were also behind falling imports. CBI expects refined copper imports will remain low in February due to the Chinese New Year holiday.
China's imports of copper semis during January were 64.7 kt according to China Customs, soaring 109.3% YoY. The dramatic year-on-year increase was a reflection of low imports during the time of the global financial crisis in full swing during January 2009. China's imports of copper semis returned to a positive YoY growth trend in November 2009, an indication of improved downstream demand in China.
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