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ANZ analysts note that the China’s commodities imports were surprisingly strong in April, adding credence to the recent solid economic numbers, suggesting firmer domestic demand.

Key Quotes

“While, the uncertainties around the trade deal will be a headwind for commodities, we see China’s recent stimulatory measures stabilising growth and supporting imports of commodities.”

“Crude oil imports rose more than we expected, reaching a monthly record high. This is likely the result of stockpiling ahead of the expiration of US sanctions waivers on Iran crude, as domestic demand was softer amid ongoing maintenance for refineries. This could reverse in May given the higher prices and tighter supplies.”

“Restocking in copper continued to keep the imports stronger. Concentrate imports rose by 3% y/y to 1.67mt. When combined with refined copper, imports have risen 33.4% y/y over the last four months.”

“China’s iron ore imports fell 2.6% y/y in April as shipments from the major exporters were weaker.”