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Imports of secondary copper increased sharply in March
Apr 28, 2021 16:05CST
Source:SMM
China imported 172,000 mt of secondary copper (including brass) raw materials in March, up 113.98 percentage points on the month and 90.57% on the year. CNY holidays accounted for the big increase in imports. Cargoes were scheduled to arrive in March due to CNY holidays when importers stopped operations and amid concerns over enhanced controls against COVID-19 during CNY.

SHANGHAI, Apr 28 (SMM)—China imported 172,000 mt of secondary copper (including brass) raw materials in March, up 113.98 percentage points on the month and 90.57% on the year. CNY holidays accounted for the big increase in imports. Cargoes were scheduled to arrive in March due to CNY holidays when importers stopped operations and amid concerns over enhanced controls against COVID-19 during CNY.

In addition, the main shipping companies servicing south China to Hong Kong line halted operations around CNY holidays, also deferring shipments arrivals. Domestic enterprises have understood import policy requirements. This combined with stronger demand for secondary copper have led to active purchases of secondary copper from overseas markets. In this scenario, imports are expected to stand at 130,000-150,000 mt in April.

The increase in imports has supplemented the supply of domestic secondary copper, and purchases have improved compared with last year. However, quotes have been firm. Good profits and orders of secondary smelting and processed products amid high copper prices resulted in strong demand for high-quality copper scrap like bare bright copper, driving aggressive purchases at high prices and brisk sales. The overall supply was sufficient, but the scrambling for cargoes bolstered prices. 

Prices of #1 bare bright copper without invoices averaged 61,430 yuan/mt last week, up 1,390 yuan/mt from the previous week. The average price spread between copper cathode and copper scrap widened 723 yuan/mt to 2,752 yuan/mt. For imported copper scrap, cif quotes for #1 copper scrap were Comex July copper less $0.18-0.19/lb last week, and offers for birch/cliff were Comex July copper less $0.28-0.31/lb. US brass was quoted at $5,950-6,000/mt. The coefficient for copper granules (98%) against LME copper stood at 93.5% on a cif basis, and the coefficient for bare bright copper against LME copper stood at 96.5-97%, on a cif basis.

Secondary copper
Import

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