SHANGHAI, Mar 22 (SMM) – Imports of copper scrap in February declined by 52% from a year earlier and by 61% from January, to stand at 71,100 mt in physical content, China Customs said on Thursday March 21.
With an average Cu content of 77.58%, February' imports equalled 55,100 mt in metal content, down 27% on the year and down 60% on the month. The CNY holiday slowed imports last month. Importers accelerated moving seaborne cargoes into the domestic market in January ahead of holidays, and this also accounted for the lower imports in February.
Factoring CNY, China's copper scrap imports in January-February rose some 11% year on year in metal content.
A higher grade in the seaborne copper scrap, driven by China’s ban on imports of Category Seven copper from the end of 2018, accounted for the increase in copper content imports.
The Cu content of copper scrap imports averaged 76% in the first two months of 2019, compared with 52% in 2018, SMM assessed based on customs data.
In 2018, China imported some 2.61 million mt of copper scrap in physical content, or 1.35 million mt in copper content.