SHANGHAI, Nov. 27 (SMM) – China’s imports of lead concentrates rose to this year’s high in October while exports of the refined metal continued to increase.
Inbound shipments of lead concentrates were 205,300 tonnes last month, 55.6% higher from a month ago, according to customs data. Close to 20% of the imports came from the US and Russia.
Still, imports in the first ten months fell 17.3% from a year ago to 1.26 million tonnes due to negative arbitrage this year.
Exports of refined lead grew 20% month-on-month to 2,753 tonnes in October, and totaled 17,100 tonnes in the first ten months, ten times more than a year ago. Imports were down 89.3% year-on-year to 673 tonnes in the same period.
Average operating rate at China’s primary lead smelters grew to 62% in October, a new high for 2013, due largely to increased output at large lead smelters, SMM’s earlier survey showed.