China copper imports drop to 15-month low
Reuters in Beijing
China’s copper imports dropped 18.5 per cent in October to hit its lowest level in 15 months, while iron ore imports also fell to a one-year low, which was partly caused by a week-long holiday at the start of the month.
The world’s top copper consumer received 321,879 tonnes of anode, refined metal, alloy and semi-finished copper production in October, down 16.1 per cent from year ago.
The October imports surprised traders who had anticipated importers to have scheduled more term shipments for October as demand rose on infrastructure projects.
“October had a week-long holiday and the customs could have slowed down the processing of goods,” Zhang Ao, analyst at Minmetals Futures said before the data was released.
Inventories at Shanghai’s bonded warehouses, the country’s largest, have also risen 14 per cent from late September to about 800,000 tonnes currently, a sign that some of the scheduled arrivals could have been pushed back to November.
Imports of iron ore from the world’s top steel consumer fell 13 per cent from a month ago to 56.43 million tonnes in October -- the lowest since October last year. However, on a year on year basis, imports were up 13 per cent.
China’s data deluge on Friday showed industrial production, investment and retail sales all accelerated in October, giving early signs that the world’s second-largest economy may have ended its nearly two-year slowdown.
The acceleration in growth of China’s exports in the last two months shows the economy is starting to stabilize, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Saturday, adding that it will still be difficult for the country to meet its full-year export growth target of 10 per cent.