SHANGHAI, Feb. 19 (SMM) – According to China Customs, China's imports of unwrought copper and copper semis during January were 350,958 mt, up slightly from 341,211 mt in December. Based on this, SMM estimates China's refined copper imports at around 240,000 mt in January.
In SMM's view, with the SHFE/LME copper price ratio improving marginally, the average loss on imported copper in January shrank to RMB 2,160/mt, down from RMB 2,448/mt in December, but remained above RMB 2,000/mt. This still depressed market interest in importing copper.
Besides, according to the latest data released by China's central bank, China's new loans reached as high as RMB 1.07 trillion in January, and relatively loose liquidity dampened financing demand. Hence, SMM expects a slight decline in China's refined copper imports for January.
As some terminal consumers of copper semis become more confident over future consumption, China's copper semis imports are likely to rise further for the foreseeable future.