China copper imports soar on price recovery

Copper prices have rebounded this week as Chinese demand for the metal reached record levels during July.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) saw the benchmark copper price rise by 0.9 per cent at $US6362 ($8868.85) a tonne on Monday, after facing a one-month low of $US6226 last Friday.

China’s General Administration of Customs saw its country’s unwrought copper imports (anodes and cathodes) rose by 81 per cent to 762,211 tonnes in July 2020 compared with the corresponding month last year.

The record imports were also a 16 per cent increase on the previous record of 656,483 tonnes in June 2020.

Warehouses registered with the LME have recorded the lowest copper stocks since March last year at 114,375 tonnes.

For the first seven months of this year, China’s demand for the commodity has reached 21.7 million tonnes, and is on track to surpass last year’s record tally of 22 million tonnes.

Copper producers in Australia have also enjoyed some healthy price gains.

OZ Minerals shares increased by 25 cents to $14.14 on Tuesday (at the time of writing), while IGO shares rose by 1.86 per cent to $4.93, and Sandfire Resources by 1.96 per cent to $5.19.

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