SHANGHAI, Oct. 12 (SMM) - China’s copper imports once again refreshed this year’s high in September with more blister and anode imports and fewer re-exports for financing purpose.
Inbound shipments of unwrought copper and copper products rose by 18.1% month-on-month to 457,800 tonnes last month, data from Chinese customs office showed today. They were 16% higher from a year ago.
Most of the increases were unlikely to be attributable to refined copper, according to SMM’s copper analyst Zhu Wenjun, who put refined imports at around 310,000 tonnes for the month.
Chinese smelters increased importing blister and anodes due to a shortage of scrap copper, Zhu said.
The imports are expected by market participants to peak this month and to decline gradually afterwards.
After China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) targeted hot money inflows with new forex rules in May, some copper importers brought in their material instead of re-exporting for financing as before, traders said.
At the same time, demand for finance-driven copper imports increased as liquidity condition was felt tight in China towards the end of the third quarter.
China’s imports of scrap copper were 390,000 tonnes in September, 10,000 tons more than August yet 15.2% less from a year ago.