Preview: China iron ore, crude imports seen up in Nov on restocking

China iron ore

Preliminary power output data for November, issued this week by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, showed a rise of 7.4 percent year-on-year, the fastest monthly increase of 2012.

The preliminary trade data will be released on Monday.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil imports may have risen again from a strong October level, with refineries forecast to have lifted production by over 4 percent from October, according to a monthly poll by industry consultancy ICIS/C1.

The launch of several new crude facilities such as PetroChina's 100,000-bpd Hohhot unit and Daqing's 120,000-bpd plant contributed to the higher refinery runs.

China imported 5.58 million barrels a day in October as new facilities came on stream and refiners ramped up output to replenish stocks.

COPPER

Any increase in copper imports in November is likely to be a statistical anomaly brought about by the October holiday, which caused a delay to shipments, traders confirmed.

"Our bookings for November shipments were similar to October but actual arrivals were higher, with some metal due to arrive in October delayed by the holiday," said a refined copper trader at an international trading house.

China's imports of anode, refined metal, alloy and semi-finished copper products dropped 18.5 percent from the previous month to 321,879 tonnes in October.

IRON ORE

Traders said they expected November imports of iron ore to show a rise following a price recovery in the previous month.

"Iron ore prices rose quickly after the (Oct. 1) holiday, prompting traders and steel mills to make bookings, and the shipments will have arrived in November," said a Beijing trader.

Although steel production dwindles in the cold winter months as construction activities decline, many traders traditionally take the opportunity to restock ahead of the Chinese new year.

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