SHANGHAI, Jan 14 (SMM) – China's imports of unwrought copper and copper products saw a larger year-over-year decline in December as an arbitrage window remained closed and as consumption stayed sluggish.
China imported 431,000 mt of unwrought copper and copper semis in December, down 6.3% month on month and 4.22% year on year, showed data from China Customs on Monday January 14. China's copper imports in November stood 3% lower than November 2017, the first year-on-year decline in 2018.
While losses on seaborne copper shrank, an arbitrage window remained closed for much of December.
With sluggish consumption, operating rates across copper processers failed to pick up last month, even as seasonality factors boosted rates for copper tube and pipe producers.
Imports of unwrought copper and copper products came in at 5.3 million mt in 2018, up 12.9% from 2017 as restrictions on copper scrap imports prompted Chinese copper processors to use more copper cathode.