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ANZ analysts note that China’s commodity imports for September were mixed amid uncertainty surrounding global economic backdrop.

Key Quotes

“Energy imports showed continued strength, while industrial metals were largely weaker. We suspect volumes may also have been boosted by restocking ahead of the 70th  anniversary holiday, suggesting overall demand remains weak.”

“With maintenance season wrapping up, oil imports stayed buoyant. Attractive profit margins continued to favour higher imports; despite the industry burdened by higher products inventories. LNG imports slipped only slightly from their August levels, but were up strongly on a y/y basis.”

“Copper imports weakened sharply last month. Primary copper imports fell 14.6% while concentrate imports were down further. Overall, this saw total copper units imported (refined metal + copper in concentrates) fall 16% y/y. This likely reflects subdued activity in the manufacturing sector, particularly considering the uncertainty that the US-China trade conflict presented during this period.”

“The continued recovery from recent disruptions in Australia and Brazil were reflected in stronger iron ore imports. Coal imports tailed off from strong levels the previous month but remained relatively elevated. However, with the peak demand season coming to a close, import demand is likely to weaken further.”