SHANGHAI, Aug. 31 (SMM) –
China Customs report zinc concentrate imports during August were 144,000 mt, down 13.0% MoM and 12.7% YoY. Imports during the first eight months this year totaled 1.25 million mt, down 7.8% YoY.
The SHFE/LME zinc price ratio has been falling all year to hover between 7.1-7.2 July-August. This held loss margins on imports above RMB 1,000/mt. This, plus high discounts on L/Cs, kept importers unwilling to operate and caused imports to slide for the fifth straight month in August. Sufficient domestic zinc concentrate supply is also attributable to the decline in imports.
The number of zinc concentrate supplying countries to China increased to 17 in August. Imports from Australia, Peru and Mongolia were the highest. Import volumes from Australia decreased 15,000 mt from July to 51,700 mt, though. Imports from Peru grew 13,000 mt to 48,800 mt. Imports from Mongolia were the third highest in August, rising 8,500 mt to 11,000 mt. China imported zinc concentrate from Saudi Arabia for the first time since January in August, with 7,200 mt. Nanning Customs, Nanjing Customs and Huangpu Customs were the three largest zinc concentrate entry ports in August.