SHANGHAI, Dec 10 (SMM) – China's imports of unwrought copper and copper products in November registered the first year-on-year decline in 2018, by dipping 3% from around 470,000 mt in November 2017, showed data from China Customs.
On a monthly basis, November's imports increased 8.6% from October and stood at 456,000 mt, according to the data.
Closed import arbitrage window through last month accounted for the year-on-year drop. Import losses maintained at 800-2,000 yuan/mt in November, SMM research found.
More working days in November accounted for the increase from October, when the week-long National Day holiday affected shipments.
Customs data also showed that year-to-date unwrought copper and semis imports reached 4.87 million mt, up 14.9% from January-November in 2017. China imported some 1.7 million mt of copper ore and concentrate in November, and around 18.25 million mt in January-November.
Separately, China exported 536,000 mt of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products in November, up some 54,000 mt from October, as trade uncertainty prompted firms to rush out shipments in November.
China is the largest consumer of copper and aluminium in the world.