SHANGHAI, Feb. 21 (SMM) –
According to China Customs, China's imports of unwrought copper and copper semis were 364.2 kt in January, up 19.6 kt from December's 344.6 kt, up 5.71% MoM, and up 24.70% YoY.
Four main reasons were behind the higher imports. First, both copper processing enterprises and downstream producers replenished goods before the Chinese New Year holiday period, increasing demand for imported copper. Second, optimism towards post-holiday prices also boosted speculative buying. Third, the SHFE/LME copper price ratio in January improved slightly to between 7.4--7.5, an improvement from December. Fourth, many cargo-holders of imported copper offered premiums between USD 25-30/mt for imported copper due to cash flow pressure, attracting buying interest.
Since February, market sentiment remains low due to the Chinese New Year Holiday, keeping transactions in the imported copper market quiet. As a result, China's imports of unwrought copper and copper semis should fall in February to levels around 250 kt.
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