SHANGHAI, Mar 26 (SMM) – China’s imports of zinc concentrate dipped 4% from January to stand at 289,336 mt in February as the suspension of Chinese Customs during the Chinese New Year holiday slowed clearances, according to data from China Customs.
February’s zinc concentrate imports rose 39.32% on a yearly basis. An import arbitrage window for zinc concentrate opened between late-December and early-January, and most shipments during that half of month arrived at Chinese ports in February. This kept China’s imports of zinc concentrate at highs last month.
Australia remained the top zinc concentrate importer to China last month, with Peru still as runner-up.
Australia exported some 116,400 mt of zinc concentrate to China in February, accounting for 40% of the total, while materials that originated from Peru took up 18%.
Imports of zinc concentrate are expected to remain high in March as the pace of customs clearance recovered to normal and with the arrival of forward cargoes.
With an import arbitrage window that closed from February, significant losses are set to lower interest in seaborne materials. This might lower imports of zinc concentrate in the second half of March.