SHANGHAI, Aug 24 (SMM) – The long closed import window has depressed demand, driving continued drop in China’s copper cathode imports in July.
China’s imports of copper cathode in July fell 3% from June and 54.14% from the same period last year. China imported a combined 254,500 mt of copper cathode (unwrought copper, copper cathodes with Cu> 99.9935%and other unwrought copper cathodes) in July 2021, according to the General Administration of Customs. Year-to-date imports through July totalled 1.97 million mt, a decrease of 20.71% on the year.
The decline is in line with market expectations. The import window closed in Q2. Though import loss shrank to 400 yuan/mt, it hardly boosted the demand for customs declaration. Trades remained subdued with Yangshan copper premiums sliding rapidly. With the long closed import window, all traders slowed down their import pace. Except for the execution of long-term orders, large volumes of cargoes under bill of lading arriving at ports were moved into the bonded warehouses amid the absence of purchases. Some traders transferred cargoes to other countries or regions.
The SHFE/LME copper price ratio has improved since mid-July. The boost to import demand will be seen in August. However, imports in August will not increase significantly compared to July due to tight shipping capacity.