SHANGHAI, Apr. 11 (SMM) – According to China Customs, China's export growth slowed to 10% in March on a YoY basis. Sluggish export data from China added to market uncertainties towards China's economic growth outlook, with trade deficit reaching USD 880 million.
Imports of unwrought copper and copper semis grew by 7.2% MoM, to 319,600 mt, but down 30.8% YoY. Imports grew on a MoM basis due mainly to plants restarting production after the Chinese New Year holiday, but restricted by high inventories in bonded zones, enterprises were unwilling to import from overseas.
A trader said copper inventories in bonded areas had been delivered to domestic markets since the start of 2013, with inventories sliding from nearly 1 million mt in January, to 850,000 mt, and expected to fall further in April due to continuously rising premiums for imported copper. SMM Yangshan copper premiums rose from USD 65-85/mt in early March, to USD 120/mt.
The US Federal Reserve released its minute of policy meeting overnight, which gave no direction to the market as it will maintain easing policies. The US dollar index continued to fluctuate at high levels.
Given sluggish demand from China and unchanged US monetary policies, LME base metals prices fell after rebounding initially during Asian trading hours, with most categories extending their declines during European and US trading hours.
Major economic data released overnight: