SHANGHAI, Apr 16 (SMM) – China's imports of unwrought copper and copper products in March grew 22% month on month and stood at 439,000 mt, according to data from China Customs. Imports for March also inched up 2.1% year on year.
In the first quarter of the year, China imported 1.23 million mt of unwrought copper and copper products, up 7.3% from the same period last year.
SMM believed that the arbitrage window that opened around the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday drove copper imports. The volume of copper that arrived at Chinese ports also grew in March, from February, given CNY and fewer working days in February.
Demand for copper surged as Chinese consumption grew. Trades in the market for copper imports also picked up as premiums of Yangshan copper grew in the first quarter. As supplies of copper scrap shrink, some traders expect that China’s demand for foreign refined copper will grow. The relatively positive contango structure of LME copper will also cover some costs for cargo holding.
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