China’s commodities imports for May were mixed – ANZ

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The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) Analysts provide key insights into the Chinese commodity trade data published earlier today.

Key Quotes:

“While we believe that it is still too early to conclude if the renewed trade tensions have impacted imports in May, worsening trade relations between China and the US remain a key headwind for commodity demand. We expect China’s stimulatory measures to potentially mitigate some of the demand concerns. 

As expected, crude oil imports slowed following strong imports in April ahead of the removal of sanction waivers on Iranian oil. We see tighter supplies and lower margins for refiners to keep imports lacklustre next month as well.

China’s refined copper imports stayed softer in May, while concentrate imports continued to rise by 16%y/y and 11% m/m. Lower prices and recovery in Chinese physical premium should keep imports strong next month.

Iron ore imports recovered following a steep drop in April but are still down on a y/y basis as a result of the mine closures in Brazil and weather-related disruptions in Australia. However, diminishing stockpiles in Brazil could further weigh on exports. This will likely keep Chinese imports depressed in the short term.”