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BEIJING: China’s copper imports in April fell 4% from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as lockdowns across the country hurt manufacturing activity and consumption.

The world’s top metals consumer brought in 465,330 tonnes of unwrought copper and products last month, down from 484,890 tonnes in April 2021 and compared with 504,009 tonnes in the previous month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

China’s factory activity contracted for a second straight month in April, hitting the lowest level since February 2020 as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns halted industrial production and disrupted supply chains.

A five-week lockdown in Shanghai has affected automobile manufacturing, while movement restrictions across the country are also hampering growth in the property sector.

Copper arrivals in the first four months of the year stood at 1.94 million tonnes, up 0.9% from same period a year before.

April imports of copper concentrate, or partially processed copper ore, totalled 1.88 million tonnes, according to the data, falling from 1.92 million tonnes in April 2021.

Copper steadies near 4-1/2 month lows but demand worries linger

The country exported 596,863 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products last month, the data also showed, almost unchanged from the prior month.

China’s exports of aluminium during January-April were 2.23 million tonnes, up 29% from a year earlier, according to the data.

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