China September imports of crude, iron ore fall but gas, copper rise

Oct 13 (Reuters) - China’s imports of copper in September rose for the first time in five months as shipments held up by coronavirus pandemic curbs arrived in the country, which is the world’s biggest consumer of the red metal.

KEY POINTS: *China Sept copper imports rise 3% m/m to 406,016 T *China Sept crude oil imports fall 15% y/y to 41.05 mln T *China Sept natural gas imports rise 22.6% y/y to 10.62 mln T *China Sept iron ore imports fall 1.9% m/m to 95.61 mln T *China Sept coal imports rise 76% y/y to 32.88 mln T

Preliminary table of commodity trade data

Below are comments from analysts on the commodities data. Comment on copper: HE TIANYU, CRU COPPER ANALYST: “The delays in logistics and an open arbitrage window pushed up imports. Many trading activities were made when the window opened in August. For China, the curbs on copper consumption are relatively small, mainly affecting small and middle sized producers. It shouldn’t affect consumption in the long run, it has more impact on aluminium and steel.”

Comment on iron ore: ATILLA WIDNELL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NAVIGATE COMMODITIES: “We expect Australian and Brazilian iron ore shipments will remain in a sweet spot for the remainder of the year. With Chinese blast furnace capacity utilization rates staying close to current multi-year lows ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, we envisage this will result in a material build in portside inventories over the next few months.”

LINKS: For details, see the official customs website ( BACKGROUND: China is the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top buyer of copper, coal, iron ore and soybeans.

Reporting by Asia Commodities and Energy team; Editing by Christian Schmollinger