SHANGHAI, Sep 20 (SMM) – China imported 3,100 mt of refined zinc in August, down 17.09% on the month and 58.88% on the year. The imports totalled 54,000 mt in the first eight months of 2022, down 83.55% YoY. Total exports of refined zinc stood at 63,000 mt, with net imports of 2,100 mt in August, 2022. Chinese refined zinc was mainly exported to Taiwan (500 mt), Vietnam (200 mt), and Thailand (20 mt); the top three supplying countries were Myanmar ( 1,000 mt), South Korea (900 mt), and Peru (600 mt). In August, the domestic import volume increased month-on-month, mainly because Myanmar imported a large amount under the support of favourable policies. However, the SHFE/LME price ratio shrank to below 7 in August, so the import window was closed, and the overall import volume was still low. Although exports picked up, the export window remained closed, hence the export volume continued to decrease. The import window was still closed in September, and the import volume of Myanmar may decline. It is expected that the imports and exports in September will still hover at lows. In terms of zinc concentrates, the imports stood at 376,400 mt (physical content) in August, up 28.65% or 83,900 mt on the month and 23.8% on the year. Imports totalled 2.4671 million mt from January to August, a year-on-year increase of 0.77%. The refine zinc imports from Australia were 94,600 mt in August, accounting for 25.14% of the total imports, ranking first with a significant MoM increase. Imports from Peru were 57,300 mt, accounting for 15.23%, ranking second. Imports from South Africa were 52,900 mt, accounting for 14.05%, ranking third. First of all, as the SHFE/LME price ratio rose, smelters obtained higher profits from imported ore, thus smelters were more willing to purchase imported ore. Secondly, the imported ore that smelters had purchased previously continued to arrivals in a concentrated manner, so the overall imported arrivals stood relatively high. In September, the production of domestic mines was stable thanks to the sufficient supply of domestic ore. However, imported mines are expected to continue to increase since the smelters could earn more profits from imported mines amid rising SHFE/LME price ratio. Therefore, when the in-plant raw materials of smelters inched higher, they intended to raise the TCs. It is expected that in September the TCs will be lifted to $190-230/dmt. At the same time, the imports of zinc concentrates are expected to rise slightly.