SHANGHAI, Nov. 14 (SMM) –According to preliminary import data from China Customs, China's imports of unwrought copper and copper semis were 384,000 mt in October, up slightly by 3,000 mt from September's 381,000 mt level. Since September copper imports set a new yearly high and continued to increase during October, market expectations for total copper imports during 2H 2011 are bullish. SMM believes the increase in October imports of unwrought copper and copper semis was due mainly to restocking following earlier strong inventory consumption. Base on an SMM survey of downstream enterprises, operating rates at copper semis producers began to slip in October, so the increase in imports was not driven by consumption. Copper prices have remained weak since early November and helped the SHFE/LME copper price ratio improve, but execution of long-term contracts and L/C quota are expected to wane. In this context, SMM expects imports of unwrought copper and copper semis will remain relatively high in November, but import growth will not be significant, with imports estimated at 400,000 mt.