China copper imports up 7% in March

Chinese copper imports rose 7% to 320Kt and copper scrap imports were up 17% month-over-month in March according to data released by Barclay's towards the end of last week.

Base metals prices were up last week marginally from multi-month lows as Chinese manufacturing imports were better than expected, up 14% year-over-year.

The three-week port strike in Chile was the largest recent supply disruption, temporarily delaying shipments of roughly 120Kt of copper to Asia and Europe.

Other supply disruptions include the closing of Sterlite's copper smelter in Tuticorin, India, where a gas leak caused nearby residents to experience "throat burning" sensations.

Should the closure extend into next month, regional supply will be significantly affected.

In anticipation of tight copper supply worldwide, traders on the London Metals exchange were reportedly holding stocks through last week.

 

Sources: Commodity Online; Business Standard