Copper inventories in China’s bonded warehouses rose this week as more material arrived from LME warehouses, market sources said.

Metal Bulletin estimates current bonded stocks at around 560,000 tonnes based on polling market participants in Shanghai.

“Last week Shanghai bonded stocks were around 530,000 tonnes and increased this week due to LME stock entering China, which was boosted by robust financing demand near year end,” a commodity trader said.

Premiums for copper cif Shanghai were assessed at $180-188 per tonne, down from $195-200 a week ago. Premiums have been in the range $180-200 per tonne for the last few months.

The higher reported stock levels come at the end of a week when China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) pushed harder to reduce the amount of latitude some banks have to grant credit to companies involved in the business of financing copper.

“High spot premiums attracted cargoes from LME warehouse worldwide to China,” he added.

Official inventories at the Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses rose for the first time in seven weeks to 143,153 tonnes, according to figures from the Shanghai Futures Exchange published today.

China imported 435,613 tonnes of unwrought copper and copper fabricated products in November, up 7.1% month-on-month and 19.2% year-on-year.