Stocksak: China’s September Copper Imports Up More Than 25%

© Stocksak. FILEPHOTO: A truck transports an empty container next to a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao (Shandong province, China), June 24, 2019. Picture taken June 24, 2019.

Dominique Patton and Siyi Liu

BEIJING (Stocksak – China imported 25.6% less in September than the same month last year. The increase in demand is expected to be offset by more planned state spending on infrastructure.

Unwrought copper and copper product imports to China – including anode and refined, alloy, and semi-finished copper products- totalled 509 9544.1 tonnes in September according to data from General Administration of Customs.

This was 2.4% more than the 498,188.60 tons in August.

Metals demand typically picks up in September and October after the summer maintenance.

Shanghai futures were priced higher than London futures due to anticipated growth in China’s demand for copper, which is essential for infrastructure projects.

China has promised new stimulus measures to boost its slow economic growth and troubled property market. This is a positive sign for metals consumption.

Financial hub Shanghai announced September investment plans for infrastructure worth 1.8 trillionyuan ($248.16billion) to spur economic growth following the hard-hit city of COVID-19 lockdowns.

China’s State Grid announced earlier in August that it plans to invest more 150 billion yuan ($22 trillion) in ultra high voltage power transmission lines.

China’s market is not only experiencing strong demand but also supply tightness due to lower-than expected domestic output power curbs in certain parts of China during the summer heatwave.

Analysts and market participants claim that liquidity issues at Maike Group in China, China’s largest copper importer, caused some tightness in this market.

China’s strong market fundamentals contrasted with the rest of world, where demand has remained subdued.

The average copper price for three months on the London Metal Exchange was $7,560 per tonne in September. This is the lowest level since November 2020.

The November copper contract that was most traded on ShFE was at 61,070 Yuan ($8,419.38 per tonne).

($1 = 7.2535 )

($1 = 7.2533 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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