China’s copper exports hit all-time high in 2021

BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) – China’s copper exports hit an annual record in 2021, according to customs data released on Tuesday, as higher prices on the international market for some months last year encouraged traders to send metals abroad.

Annual shipments last year were 932,451 tons, up from 744,457 tons in 2020.

For the month of December, exports of crude copper and copper products stood at 78,512 tons, reported the General Administration of Customs. This volume was 3.9% lower than the 81,735 tons shipped in November, but was 13.9% higher than the previous year.

China, the world’s top copper consumer and importer, rarely exports large volumes of the metal. But a jump in copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) in May last year to record highs of $10,747.50 per tonne encouraged shipments abroad.

By comparison, China’s full-year copper imports stood at 5.53 million tonnes in 2021, down from the previous year’s record purchase volumes, according to data from the customs authority.

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(Reporting by Emily Chow. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)