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ANZ analysts note that the China’s imports for January-February were broadly positive as the energy imports held up well while coal and copper also showed signs of strong demand.

Key Quotes

“Bulks and soybeans were the only ones to record sharp declines. With trade talks between US and China progressing well, we expect commodity imports to stay robust in the coming months.”

“Crude oil imports helped out relatively well, despite m/m falls. Imports in January-February imports were up strongly to 81.8mt. Natural gas imports during January-February stayed robust, rising to 17.36mt.”

“Primary copper imports for first two months were slightly weak. However, this was offset by strong imports of copper concentrate (+24.9% y/y, January-February).”

“Elevated inventories at the ports and higher prices weakened iron ore demand lower. January-February iron ore imports fell by 5% y/y to 174mt. Coal imports held up relatively well, with January-February volumes rising to 51mt (+5% y/y).”