Zinc Imports by China Surge to Highest Since 2014 on Arbitrage

Refined zinc imports by China, the largest user, surged in October to the highest level in 21 months as traders sought to profit from cheaper prices in London.

Imports gained 75 percent from September to 72,325 metric tons last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs on Monday. That was the highest level since January 2014 and nearly triple shipments in the same month last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Zinc futures have retreated 30 percent on the London Metal Exchange this year, dropping for five straight months to September amid concern that China’s slowdown may hurt demand. A group of local zinc smelters said last week that they planned to cut output next year. Flows of ore and refined metals into Asia’s top economy can be shaped by the difference between local rates and overseas rates.

“Traders purchased large volume because the arbitrage window widened and the momentum could continue in November,” Xu Yongqi, an investment manager at the commodity-trading department of Ningbo Yinyi Group Co., said by phone.

— With assistance by Alfred Cang

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