China’s copper imports in August dropped 41% year-on-year to their lowest since June 2019, as high prices and sluggish economic growth kept a lid on demand.
Arrivals of unwrought copper and products into the world’s top copper consumer were 394,017 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said, down 7% from a month earlier and the fifth straight monthly decline.
“Chinese customers are not willing to buy copper at these prices. We saw buying below $9,000 a tonne, but anything above seems pretty expensive,” said commodities broker Anna Stablum of Marex Spectron.
Copper for delivery in December fell 1.3% from Monday’s settlement price, touching $4.278 per pound ($9,411 per tonne) on the Comex market in New York.
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The August data showed Chinese copper imports declining in every month since October last year – except for March – after strong imports in the middle of 2020, when the world’s second-biggest economy rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Factory activity grew at a slower pace in August versus July, although the construction sector, a key copper user, accelerated at its fastest pace since March. Imports of copper concentrate, or partially processed copper ore, were 1.89 million tonnes in August, customs said.
That was the highest level since May, leaping 19% year-on-year and up 0.2% from 1.887 million tonnes in
(With files from Reuters)