SHANGHAI, Jul 20 (SMM) – Shortfalls in copper scrap imports will be smaller this year and stand below market forecasts, as the average copper content of imports increase, SMM believes.
While copper scrap imports in April was 36.7% lower in physical content from a year ago, its metal content increased some 10,000 mt from last year to 117,000 mt, SMM calculated based on China Customs data. Similarly, copper scrap imports in March, in metal content, went flat year on year at 130,000 mt while the physical content fell 37.7% from 2017.
This brought the average copper content of the imports up to 60.2% in April, from 58.8% in March.
The average metal (copper) content of imported Category Six copper scrap accounted for 84% of all metal content in Categories Six and Seven. This compared to 48% in April last year.
Separately, China's copper scrap imports in May declined 33.3% from a year ago to stand at 210,000 mt, showed China Customs data. This lowered copper scrap imports from January to May by 37.4% on the year, to 950,000 mt.
China's stricter inspections of all US-imported scrap from May 4 accounted for the decline. Given the typical one-month shipment duration from the US to China, the inspections are set to impact China's imports of copper scrap imports in June.