SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) –
China Customs reports China imported 222,600 mt of zinc concentrate in January 2014, up 1.27% MoM and 21.94% YoY.
SMM sources report the SHFE/LME zinc price ratio has been falling since mid-December 2013, sliding from 8 to 7, leaving no profit for imports. SMM attributes zinc concentrate imports growth on both MoM and YoY basis to cash flow tightness around the Chinese New Year holiday, which pushed up finance-driven imports; besides, zinc prices continued to rise in December, which prompted some buyers to place orders overseas.
SMM sources report that TC for imported zinc concentrate (50%) in January was USD 130-140/mt, largely unchanged from last December. TC of domestic zinc concentrate rose from RMB 4,900-5,000/mt in last December to RMB 5,000-5,100/mt.
The number of source countries decreased to 19, down 1 from last December's. Australia, Peru and South Africa topped the list of zinc concentrate source countries. Shanjin Ruipeng Company was the largest importer in January, with imports surging from last December's 16,000 mt to 37,000 mt.