It’s tempting to try to analyze these trading figures to try to figure out what’s really going on. But even using year-on-year cumulative figures runs the risk of distortions caused by the lockdowns late last year in China, and our best advice at this stage is to reserve judgment on what is happening and wait to see the data from the next month. bring before conjuring up some fanciful explanation for what happened this month. Even looking at the figures in terms of volume levels carries risks, as these figures are also highly seasonal.
For those willing to put up with these problems, the commodity imports chart below suggests that, in fact, nothing particularly interesting happened this month.
On a year-to-year basis so far this year, the chart shows that imports of iron and copper ores and concentrates, along with crude oil and natural gas, are growing, although they are not trending particularly strongly.
The early buildup of crude oil inventories may explain some of oil’s current strength, and the same is likely true for natural gas as well as we head into the colder winter months.
Imports of copper, iron ore and concentrates have remained fairly stable in these terms at around 8.5% year-to-date in recent months, which is probably a little more than the state of manufacturing would indicate or construction, so a more positive story may be brewing. here. However, we believe it is too early to draw firm conclusions given such contradictory figures, and this month’s figures are also not out of the ordinary compared to recent months.
Not shown here are refined oil imports, which are recording a 95% growth rate, although this is mainly due to increases in export quotas for similar products, and coal imports are also increasing strongly, although the rate increase appears to be slowing.