According to data posted on the website of the Chinese General Administration of Customs, the country reported robust commodities purchases in September as traders took advantage of falling prices.
Chinese copper imports hit a 16-month high in September after increasing almost 12% from a month earlier to 380,526 metric tons as domestic stockpiles were reduced by almost half since March. Copper imports have now showed gains for the fourth month in a row.
Martketwatch reports Royal Bank of Canada analysts in Hong Kong saw "solid" China demand for the two commodities "boosted by significant price falls over the month."
Prices tumbled 24% in September, but the red metal has climbed from the 14-month low hit Monday last week. On Thursday it fell back 2.5% after disappointing economic figures from China pointed to lower demand.
Strikes and output cuts at the world's number one listed copper producer Freeport McMoran's South American and Indonesian operations should also provide a floor to prices in the near term while Zambia's copper mines have seen fierce anti-China demonstrations since a new head of state took office.