China imported 12,700 mt of refined zinc in March, up 170.37% on the month but down 40.09% on the year. The imports totalled 19,300 mt in the first three months of 2023, down 53.75% YoY, while total exports of refined zinc during the same period stood at 2,400 mt. This pointed to net imports of 16,900 mt.
The top three suppliers of refined zinc imports in March were Japan (5,200 mt), Kazakhstan (4,500 mt) and Australia (2,500 mt). The import volume of refined zinc rose sharply in March, exceeding market expectations. The import window remained closed despite the improvement of the SHFE/LME zinc price ratio, driving most of the seaborne cargoes to stay in the bonded zone in March.
Besides, some of the seaborne cargoes that had been imported in February did not go through customs clearance until March. Consequently, the imports of refined zinc surged in March, but the actual inflows into the domestic market were limited.
Learn more: SMM