SHANGHAI, June 28 (SMM) --
According to China Customs, China's imports of lead concentrate were 82 kt in May, down 9.1% MoM. YTD imports were 484 kt, down 11.84% YoY. Rapid and large declines in TC for imported lead concentrate have resulted in a decrease in imports of lead concentrate by domestic lead producers, which were able to match increases in output of domestic lead concentrate.
According to China Customs, China's imports of refined lead were 3,144 mt in May, a significant growth from April. YTD imports were 6,459 mt, down 94.13% YoY. Exports of refined lead were 1,335 mt, up 30.63% MoM, with YTD exports 10.6 kt, up 77.74% YoY. China became a net importer of lead again in May, although the domestic/LME lead price ratio was unfavorable for both imports and exports for the most period of April and May. Despite MoM increases in imports, current levels are considered normal when compared with significantly higher imports of lead during the same period last year, which even exceeded 20 kt. SMM believes China will remain a net importer of lead over the next several months since domestic/LME price ratio has been gradually improving for imports since late May.
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