SHANGHAI, Sept. 6 (SMM) - China imported 131,000 mt lead concentrate in July, up 25.9 percentage points from June thanks to growing demand, China Customs reported.
The rise in operating rates at domestic lead smelters boosted demand for lead concentrate. Domestic major lead smelters saw operating rate at 60.55% on average in July, up 2.25 percentage points MoM, SMM survey showed.
Imported materials enjoyed price advantages over domestic concentrate and this excited domestic lead smelters to import more concentrate. Imports were RMB 900/mt (Pb content) lower than domestic concentrate, jumping considerably from May’s RMB 100/mt (Pb content).
In terms of trade forms, only 6,000 mt of concentrate were imported from goods at bonded warehouses in July. This mirrored that most imports have been digested by market instead of being stored at bonded warehouses.
Jinli Gold and Lead imported 11,000 mt of concentrate in July, up 8,000 mt from June. Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet saw the imports at 6,000 mt and bought no imports in June. Imports grew 1,000 mt MoM to 4,000 mt at Hechi Nanfang Nonferrous Metals Group.
In July, around 10,000 mt of concentrate were imported by Shandong Humon Smelting, 6,000 mt by Yuteng Nonferrous Metals, 6,000 mt by Jingui Silver and 3,000 mt by Zhuzhou Smelter Group, down 5,000 mt, 4,000 mt, 8,000 mt and 1,000 mt, respectively, on the MoM basis. Concentrate imports edged down to 6,000 mt and 5,000 mt in Jincheng Chengyuan Smelting and Wanyang Group, respectively.
The number of countries exporting concentrate to China in July was 29, with most imports from Peru at 19,000 mt, rising 3,000 mt MoM. Australia decreased exports to 17,000 mt, down by 13,000 mt from June. However, Turkey increased exports to 15,000 mt, Russia to 12,000 mt and US to 10,000 mt, by 14,000 mt, 1,000 mt and 4,000 mt, respectively, all on the monthly basis. The number of countries exporting over 10,000 mt of concentrate to China was up two from June.