SHANGHAI, Jun 10 (SMM) – China's imports of unwrought copper and copper products in May decreased by 11% on the month and by 23% on the year, and stood at 361,000 mt, showed data from China Customs on Monday June 10.
This lowered the imports in January-May by 9.4% from a year ago, to 1.95 million mt. The year-over-year decline rate expanded from 5.26% in January-April.
A closed import arbitrage window deterred imports of refined copper, which accounted for some 70% of the total imports of unwrought copper and copper semis in May. The import window temporarily opened in the first half of May, and only triggered a small influx of imports to the domestic market.
Domestic supply of refined copper is expected rebound in June as smelters recover from concentrated maintenance. This, together with a new smelting capacity of 500,000-600,000 mt that will come online in the second half of the year, will continue to pressure on demand for seaborne copper, SMM expects.