SHANGHAI, June. 30 (SMM) –
Data from China Customs showed that China’s lead concentrate imports were 156,700 mt in June, up 11.6% from May’s 140,000 mt and YTD imports for 1H were 784,000 mt, up 22.4% YoY.
In addition to imports under long-term contracts, the rest of inbound shipments were booked in May when the Shanghai/LME lead price ratio rose from April’s 6.6 to 6.65. The significant rise in shipments was largely attributable to shortages of lead concentrate at home.
32,000 mt, or 20% of China’s total lead concentrate imports, came from Poland, making it China’s No.1 supplier by imported volumes. However, the latest SMM survey revealed that TC for Poland’s lead concentrate with low silver content was only around USD 100/dmt, so lead smelters are reluctant to buy Polish concentrate. Much of this Polish lead concentrate has thus flowed into bonded warehouses.
Australia, Russia, the US, Iran, and North Korea contributed 55% to the total lead concentrate imports.
Data from China Customs revealed that China’s refined lead imports were 43 mt in June and YTD imports for 1H were down 71.61% to 137 mt. The sharp fall in imports suggested that China relied more on refined lead smelted domestically during this period of time. Japan was the sole supplier of the 43 mt of lead exported to China in June and contributed a stunning 75% to China’s total imports throughout 1H.