According to statistics, China in the first quarter of the current year was a reduction in Chinese net imports of purified copper. Compared to the previous year the index decreased by 35% and amounted to 699 thousand tons. Reduction of procurement experts attribute to the main factors influencing the decrease in the cost of copper. LME price per tonne of the red metal at the beginning of 2017 accounted for more than 6200 USD. Today it ranges from 5700 to 5800 USD. However, copper stocks in the warehouses of the London stock exchange for the first quarter increased by 185,000 tons. This is another factor contributing to the decline in prices for copper.
While the PRC does not reduce the level of consumption of the red metal. Just Chinese companies are moving to alternative sources of copper. For example, for the first quarter of imports to China copper scrap reached 907 thousand tons. Compared to figures a year ago, the index increased by 22%. Since 2013 is the most significant result for the quarter. Increased supplies of concentrate of copper. Relative to I quarter of 2016, an increase of 8.5%, reaching 4.31 million tons. Simultaneously, the Chinese companies have significantly reduced the volume of purchases of Indonesian raw materials. However, increased supplies from Kazakhstan, Peru, and Spain. However, experts have expressed doubts about the long-term nature of the increase in imports of scrap in China. The reason is that the volume of supply of copper scrap is limited. However, China may continue to reduce purchases of refined red metal. Thus the import volumes of copper concentrate will increase. The main purpose of this approach is that a lot of private copper smelting capacity.
Along with the decrease in purchases of copper fell and the Chinese supply of steel products. As reported by the customs authorities of the PRC, in April, the national company exported 6.49 million tons. In comparison with March, a decline of 14%, compared to April of last year — by 29%. From January to April, 2017 the export of Chinese steel totaled 27.21 million tonnes. Compared to the same period of last year the number fell by 26%. Experts claim that the decline was expected. A significant part of the contracts with the April supply was signed in February, early March. During this period, the metallurgists of China by and large focused on the domestic market. Tai value was significantly higher than abroad.