SHANGHAI, Oct. 10 (SMM) –
Data from China Customs showed China’s lead concentrate imports during August were 213,900 mt, up 27.38% from July. Imports during the first eight months of this year amounted to 1.139 million mt, also up 27.75% YoY.
The Shanghai/LME lead price ratio, although down from a high of 8.47, still remains around 8.0 and favorable for importing lead concentrate. According to SMM sources, lead concentrate imports were still being made by primary lead smelters from July to mid-August.
Peru, Russia, Australia, and the US were major suppliers of China’s lead concentrate during August, with imports from these four countries accounting for more than 50% of China’s total imports. Since deliveries from Russia, Australia and the US would take 10-20 days to arrive, and only imports from Peru up to 40 days, SMM believes arrivals during August were mainly ordered between July and mid-August. Improved operating rates at primary lead smelters during August also helped boost lead concentrate imports.
Data from China Customs indicate that China imported 615 mt of refined lead during August, up 38% MoM. YTD imports through August were 5,214 mt, up 4.27%.
Nearly 70% of refined lead imported during August came from South Korea, with the remainder from Australia and the first imports from that country in 2012. China’s lead imports from South Korea between January and August were 3,974 mt, accounting for 76% of the total imports, but China also imported refined lead from Japan, Ukraine, and North Korea.