China’s unwrought copper imports jump, copper concs imports flat in Jan-Oct

Imports of unwrought copper and copper products to China rose significantly in the first 10 months of this year, according to customs data released on Saturday November 7.

China imported 5.6 million tonnes of unwrought copper and copper products in January-October, up by 41.4% from a year ago. Monthly imports of unwrought copper, including copper alloys, and products such as copper rods and bars, stood at 618,108 tonnes for October.

Meanwhile, over 18 million tonnes of copper concentrate were brought into the country over the same period, up just 0.8% year on year.

China, which holds over half of the world’s copper smelting capacity, bought 1.69 million tonnes of copper concentrate last month to feed smelting furnaces for refined copper production.

China continues to be a steady buyer of copper concentrate, in particular after importers were unofficially banned from purchasing Australian concentrates from November 6. Last year, China imported 1.05 million tonnes of copper concentrate from Australia, accounting for less than 5% of total imports of the material.

Fastmarkets calculated the benchmark copper concentrate treatment and refining charge (TC/RC) index cif Asia Pacific at $46.40 per tonne / 4.64 cents per lb on Friday, up from $44.90 per tonne / 4.49 cents per lb a week earlier amid a seasonally weaker spot market while market participants discuss annual contracts. 

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