SHANGHAI, Sept. 26 (SMM) – Lead Concentrate
According to China Customs, China's imports of lead concentrate in August were 141. 3 kt, up 56.87% from July’s 90.1 kt. YTD imports through August were 892.3 kt, down 0.71% YoY.
During 1H 2011, China’s monthly average imports of lead concentrate were considered low, except for January and April. As domestic primary lead producers require imported lead concentrate for production, continuous declines in import volumes and improvements in the Shanghai/LME lead price ratio recently have resulted in a surge in lead concentrate imports on a monthly basis. Since late July, LME lead prices have been moving on a downward track, and as the Shanghai/LME lead price ratio approached 7 in early August, domestic smelters actively imported goods.
China imported lead concentrate from 34 countries in August. In addition to normal suppliers, several countries from southeast and south Asia became new suppliers. The top three suppliers of lead concentrate in August were Russia, the US, and Australia. Total imports from the top 10 suppliers were 109.3 kt, accounting for 77% of China’s total imports and down from the previous month.
According to China Customs, China's imported 258 mt of refined lead in August, up 1.98% MoM and reversing its previously trend. Imports continued to fall compared with the same period last year, however, and were down 93.56% YoY. As in July, South Korea was the major supplier of refined lead in August. China imported 250 mt of 258 mt of refined lead from South Korea, with the remainder from Japan.
During the first eight months of 2011, China imported 5,000 mt refined lead, down 66.35% YoY. South Korea was the major supplier of refined lead, with exports to China in each of the eight months. China imported a total of 2,479 mt refined lead from South Korea through August, accounting for nearly 50% of China’s total imports during the period.
According to China Customs, China exported no refined lead in August, unchanged from a month earlier. YTD exports through August were 5,747 mt, down 59.58% YoY.