China imported 1.9mn mt of unwrought copper and copper material in January-April 2021, up by 10pc from 1.74mn mt in the prior-year period, according to the data released by the General Administration of Customs, China. In April, the country imported 484,889mt of unwrought copper and copper materials.
Copper prices have more than doubled in a year and is still climbing high driven by the growing demand as industrial economies including the US, Japan, and Germany recover from the COVID-19 impacts. Another reason copper is gaining momentum is on the back of global efforts on cutting carbon emissions which equates to more use of the red metal. This movement has put a strain on supply.
China consumes half of the global copper ore concentrates and Australia which accounts for 10pc of the global reserves have had bilateral trade tensions which have severely impacted copper ore trades between them. China has stopped copper trades with Australia since December 2020. The official three-month LME copper contract on May 7 settled at $10,356/mt, up by $5,090/mt in a year, almost double since May 2020.
In terms of exports, China’s unwrought aluminium and aluminium products’ exports rose by 6pc in January-April to 1.77mn mt, compared to 1.62mn mt in the prior period. In April, exports were 437,284.5mt.