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China’s Refined Copper Imports to ‘Rise 34%’

May 11, 2009 at 14:36 by Mario

China’s refined copper imports will rise by 34% to 1.95 million tonnes this year, said Ma Xiaoxin, vice-gm of Minmetals’ copper division. China imported nearly twice as much copper in the first three months of 2009 compared to a year earlier.
This pace will slow as importers turn again to copper scrap, and arbitrage imports fall, Ma said. “The shortage of copper scrap will ease in the second quarter, as rising [LME and SHFE] prices attract more traders into the recycling business,” she said at the 2009 Copper Industry Supply Chain Summit held by China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) in Beijing on Friday.. “Once the scrap problem is solved, China’s enthusiasm for refined copper will fade,” she added. China imported 748,281 tonnes of refined copper in January-March, up 92% year-on-year, according to Chinese customs.
“Arbitrage buying, replacement of copper scrap, China’s State Reserve Bureau (SRB) buying and infrastructure investment especially in cable and wire industry have been major reasons for rising copper imports this year,” Ma said. “But China’s physical demand has not yet picked up,” she warned.
Officials at the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) agreed. “The length of time arbitrage window will last is another key factor for China’s refined copper imports this year,” said Shi Lin, analyst from CRU.
“Once the price gap between Shanghai and LME copper disappears, China’s imports will go down and the rebound of copper prices will come to and end,” Shi said. “LME copper is heading towards $5,000 per tonne, but I don’t think it will rally at that level and copper prices will fall back to $4,000 per tonne quite soon,” said Ma.

One Response to “China’s Refined Copper Imports to ‘Rise 34%’”

  1. earth saver

    Can any sort of metal be taken in for recycling? I mean, I’m confident they can in one way or another, but will recycling centers give you cash you for any sort of metal? Even like steel? I have a daunting amount of scrap in my garage I would totally be willing to bring down to the nearest recycling facility if I was certain they would offer me cash in return.


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