China’s imports of copper ores and concentrates declined by 11.70pc from Oct 2019 to 1.69mn mt in Oct 2020. Imports of unwrought copper and copper products in the month, however, rose by 43.41pc to 618,108mt. 

Imports in the Jan-Oct of unwrought copper and copper products rose by 41.39pc to 5.61mn mt and that for copper ores and concentrates rose by 0.84pc to 18.50mn mt. The COVID-19 pandemic which originated in China impacted the economy for the first couple of months. Recovery, however, was soon to follow on the back of strong government stimulus and policies conducive to production growth in the country. 

In the second quarter of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy had reached its peak. Smelters and manufacturers are still struggling to bring their businesses on track.  China thus absorbed the world’s surplus amid low prices early this year, when the three-month LME copper contract touched its lowest in the year at $4,626.5/mt in late March, coupled with a robust recovery in its manufacturing sector.  

Iron ore

Iron ore imports in October were 106.74mn mt, up by 14.94pc from October in the prior year. In the first ten months, imports rose by 11.21pc to 975.20mn mt. Despite the lockdown, China has kept up its steel production. Subsequently, with support from increased infrastructure spending, the excess inventories also started dipping.

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