SHANGHAI, July 26 (SMM) -
According to China Customs, China’s imports of lead concentrate were 120.4 kt in June, up 46.83% MoM. YTD imports were 604.4 kt, down 15.14% YoY. Import volumes of lead concentrate in June were the largest monthly import of 2010, a result of sharp price declines for LME lead in May and June creating strong import opportunities for domestic lead producers. Peru, the US, and Australia were the top three suppliers in June. The US took some market share from Peru during May, with imports from those two countries accounting for nearly 50% of total imports.
According to China Customs, China’s imports of refined lead were 1,638 mt in June, down 47.90% MoM. YTD imports were 8,097 mt, down 93.65% YoY. China’s exports of refined lead were 825 mt in June, down 38.2%. YTD exports were 11,395 mt, up 36.44% YoY. China remained a net importer of lead in June. Although the domestic/LME lead price ratio in late May and early June was briefly favorable for imports, China’s lead imports were relatively unchanged. SMM believes the risk of imports without any lead futures market in China and low demand are to blame for the low import activity.
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