SMM7, March 27: according to the latest customs data, imports of copper concentrate and its ores totaled 1.5941 million tons in June 2020, down 5.8 percent from the previous month and an increase of 8.9 percent over the same period last year.
China's import of copper concentrate (10,000 tons)
An itemized data list of China's imports of copper ore and its concentrate by country in June
By country, the physical volume of copper concentrate imported from Peru in June was 247000 tons, down 17.4% from the previous month and 28.8% from the same period last year. According to SMM, mine production and logistics shipments in Peru were the most affected in April, with copper production down 34.7% from the same period last year, while the shipping cycle from Peru to China is usually about two months, so imports of copper concentrates from Peru fell to a trough in June, and Chinese imports of copper concentrates from Peru are expected to pick up gradually in the following months.
While Chile is still the largest source of domestic copper concentrate imports, the physical volume of copper concentrate imported from Chile in June was 622000 tons, an increase of 2.95% from the previous month, and a drop of 0.58% from the same period last year, reflecting that Chile's copper production and transportation were less affected by the epidemic, and the supply remained stable.
China imported 1.308 million tons of copper concentrate from Mexico in June, down 30.5% from a month earlier and up 152.0% from a year earlier. China's imports of copper concentrates from Mexico increased sharply compared with the same period last year, mainly due to problems in the supply of copper concentrates in Peru, importers sought supplies from other regions to supplement, and deployed resources by coordinating early shipment time and so on. Similarly, China's copper concentrate imports from Australia, Spain and Brazil increased by 76.21%, 52.88% and 957.38% respectively in June from a year earlier.
In addition, China imported 31000 tons of copper concentrate from the United States in June, up from zero in the past year. Trade tensions between the two countries have intensified since late 2018, affecting US exports of copper ore and its concentrates to China, but Chinese companies have been allowed to apply for tariff exemptions since March, so domestic smelters have begun to resume purchases of copper concentrates from the US.
SMM believes that the impact of overseas outbreaks on copper concentrate imports peaked in June, and copper concentrate imports will begin to pick up month-on-month in the following months. The production and shipment of copper mines in Peru suffered the most serious disruption in April, and imports of this part decreased significantly in June after taking into account the shipping schedule. According to SMM, shipments from several major mines to ports in Peru began to resume in mid-late May, so China's imports of copper concentrate from Peru are expected to increase in July. SMM expects copper concentrate imports to be repaired to some extent month-on-month in July, but it is still heavily affected by overseas outbreaks, with imports expected to be around 165-1.75 million physical tons in July.
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