SHANGHAI, Aug. 30 (SMM) –
According to data from China Customs, imports of lead concentrate were 121.7kt in July, up 1.11% MoM, and YTD imports were 726.1kt, down 17.99% YoY. Imports during July were still high and virtually unchanged from the previous month since low LME prices in May and June created good opportunities for smelters to import low-priced lead concentrate.
China’s imports of lead concentrate YoY were down significantly, however, and due to the unavailability of low-priced LME lead seen in 2009. In addition, uncertainty from fluctuating LME lead prices during 2010 is in contrast to the steady rises in prices during 2009, and is behind lower amounts of imported lead concentrate. Interest from smelters to import lead concentrate is also less this year due to concerns over costs and the lack of long-term market confidence. Traditional powerful suppliers such as Peru and Australia still dominate China’s lead concentrate supply, with Peru accounting for 40% of China’s total imported lead concentrate.
According to data from China Customs, imports of refined lead during June were 2,750 mt, up 67.89% MoM, and with YTD imports 10,847 mt, down 92.21% YoY. China’s exports of refined lead were 1,273 mt, up 54.3% MoM, while YTD exports were 12,668 mt, up 4.5% YoY. Imports of refined lead were higher than exports, and with MoM growth of imports increasing significantly. However, the strong MoM growth in imports for July was actually due to low volumes imported during June and is still considered normal. However, with high Shanghai/LME lead price ration began to fall in July, net imports and net exports of refined lead will occur alternatively. China’s exports of refined lead still mainly flow into the Philippines and Malaysia and other Asian countries.
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