China’s copper imports in July rise year-on-year as falling prices spur buying
July copper imports, however, were down 13.8% from the previous month’s 537,698 tonnes.
Copper prices, often seen as an economic indicator, plunged by a third from a March high in mid-July as China’s covid-19 control measures hurt manufacturing and amid growing fears of a global economic recession.
On July 15, the three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 fell below $7,000 per tonne for the first time since November 2020.
“Chinese copper users and traders bought large volumes when the market bottomed out,” said He Tianyu, copper analyst at CRU Group, ahead of the customs data release.
Imports were also supported by the open arbitration window between Shanghai and London, he said.
This came amid falling national copper inventories, with some smelters closed for summer maintenance.
Copper ShFE CU-STX-SGH inventories fell to 37,025 tonnes last Friday, the lowest since Jan. 21, and a 78% drop from March.
In the first seven months of 2022, China imported 3.41 million tons of raw copper and copper, an increase of 5.8 percent from last year.
The country exported 652,197.9 tonnes of unwrought aluminum and aluminum products, including primary, alloy and semi-finished aluminum products, in July, up 39.1% from 469,030, 6 tons from last July.
(Reporting by Siyi Liu; Editing by Kim Coghill).