SMM, 29 Oct:
According to data released by the General Administration of Customs, China imported a total of 314569 tons of electrolytic copper in September, an increase of 8.95 percent over the previous month and a decrease of 11.02 percent over the same period last year. From January to September 2019, China imported 2458710 tons of electrolytic copper, down 11.36 percent from the same period last year.
In September, the import of electrolytic copper in China increased significantly, and it was the second highest in the year, which was mainly affected by the improvement of import price. Since July, the import of electrolytic copper has increased significantly on a month-on-month basis, followed by relatively high imports in August and September. The main reason is that from June to September, SHFE inventory is mostly maintained at about 150000 tons, domestic inventory is stable, spot maintains a tight balance, at the same time, LME inventory continues to rise rapidly, LME structure is also in a large Contango, overseas spot supply is obviously loose. The fundamentals are tight and loose, imports continue to hover around profit and loss, there are more opportunities to open windows, stimulate traders to declare import demand, electrolytic copper imports increase.
Compared with the same period last year, electrolytic copper imports remained in a state of sharp decline in September. On the one hand, the activity of the foreign trade copper market is low this year, and although the import profit window is open from time to time, but the profit space is small, there is no sustained hot market, and the stimulus to import demand is still limited. On the other hand, copper imports increased significantly in the same period last year as a result of the contraction in scrap copper supply. In September 2018, the monthly import of electrolytic copper reached 353500 tons, a new high in 2018. Due to the large base last year, it also led to an increase in electrolytic copper imports in September but still a sharp decline from the same period last year.
It is expected that the import of electrolytic copper will remain at a high level of more than 300000 tons in October. In August and September, stimulated by import prices, Yangshan copper premium rose to a high this year, traders import enthusiasm is higher, on the other hand, overseas smelter maintenance, the volume of shipments to China has also increased.
(SMM Wei Xue)