SHANGHAI, Mar 25 (SMM) – China imported 20,350 mt of refined zinc in February, down 70.59% from a month ago and 46.04% from a year ago, showed the latest data from China Customs.
Imports of 0# zinc, with zinc content of no less than 99.995%, declined 83.14% month on month to stand at 8,559 mt last month. They originated from seven countries, with those from Australia, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Belgium accounting for over 90%.
The import arbitrage window remained closed in February, while limited cargoes made customs clearance due to the Chinese New Year holiday.
Greater-than-expected gains in domestic inventories over the CNY holiday and declining LME stocks prompted LME zinc to outperform its SHFE counterpart in February, keeping imported materials from entering the domestic market.
LME zinc remained stronger than its SHFE counterpart in March, resulting in lower SHFE/LME price ratio. With limited support from the value-added tax cuts, China’s imports of refined zinc are expected to stay at lows this month.