China’s Copper Imports to Fall in 2021
Reuters reported that China’s China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association research house Antaike said that China’s refined copper imports are expected to fall by around 27% in 2021 from last year’s bumper levels. After last year’s unprecedented purchases, imports will return to a reasonable level this year, he said. The arbitrage window has closed and Antaike expects China’s own refined copper production to increase in 2021. Antaike sees refined copper imports totalling 3.4 million tonnes in 2021, down 27.2% from 4.67 million tonnes in 2020
Top metals consumer China imported record amounts of copper and aluminium in 2020 as a rapid demand recovery from the impact of COVID-19 pushed Chinese metal prices above international prices, opening up an arbitrage for cheaper overseas metal to flow in.
Antaike sees China’s refined copper consumption rising 3.7% this year on strong demand from the auto, real estate and power sectors.