China’s August imports of crude oil and iron ore fell from the previous month’s record high, while copper imports slumped 20 percent as the country slowed its pace of commodities stockpiling.
Crude-oil imports fell to 18.47 million metric tonnes in August, or about 4.37 million barrels a day, the general Administration of Customs reported Friday. That’s down 5.9 percent from July’s record high of 4.64 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by MarketWatch.
China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, imports more than half of its oil demand. Despite the drop, August’s imports level is still the second highest.
Iron ore imports fell to 49.68 million metric tonnes, down 14 percent from July’s 58.08 million metric tonnes. And copper imports fell to 325,000 metric tonnes, down from July’s 406,600 metric tonnes. Copper imports fell in August for a second month.
China is the world’s biggest consumer of iron ore and copper.
China’s imports of oil and iron ore had hit a record high in July, as the nation’s $586 billion stimulus plan continues to push up demand for commodities. See related story.
“Concerns will persist that the Chinese market is oversupplied with subsequent lower import demand until OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] restocking begins to feed through,” said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst at Barclays Capital.
Also on Friday, China said its industrial output rose 12.3 percent on the year in August, gaining for a fourth straight month. See related story.
On Friday trading, October crude futures fell more than 1 percent to below $71 a barrel, while December copper futures lost 0.8 percent to $2.8541 a pound.