Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/13/2014 -- China enjoys abundant resources and large varieties of non-ferrous metals. The reserves of 7 varieties, including tungsten and rare earths, rank the first in the world while the reserves of lead, nickel, mercury, molybdenum and niobium are plentiful. The industry scale expands rapidly as the production volume of non-ferrous metals maintains rapid growth in recent years. The total production volume of the 10 major non-ferrous metals (copper, aluminum, lead, zinc, nickel, tin, stibium, magnesium, titanium and mercury) was 40,287,816 tons in China in 2013, up by 9.91% YOY.
Major production regions of non-ferrous metals are Henan, Gansu, Hunan, Yunnan and Shandong. The production volume in the 5 regions accounted for 43.53% of the national production volume in 2011 while the proportion of Henan ranked the first in China.
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The lead futures got listed on SHFE on March 24, 2011 while futures of the other 4 basic non-ferrous metals, including copper, aluminum, lead and zinc were listed on SHFE afterwards. However, the trading varieties in Chinese futures market are significantly different from those in international market.
The prices of non-ferrous metals fluctuated at low level due to the low global demand and oversupply in 2013. The average spot price of copper, aluminum, lead and zinc was 53,380 CNY/ton, 14,556 CNY/ton, 14,249 CNY/ton and 15,178 CNY/ton, which decreased by 6.9%, 7.1%, 7.4% and 0.5% respectively. The average price of copper, aluminum and zinc futures at LME was 7,352 USD/ton, 1,888 USD/ton and 1,940 USD/ton, down by 7.5%, 7.9% and 1.3% respectively in March. The average price of lead futures was 2,158 USD/ton, up by 4%.
The import value of non-ferrous metals was USD 103.3 billion in China in 2013, down by 3.3%. The import volume of copper concentrate and alumyte increased by 28.7% and 78.5% respectively while the import volume of scarce raw materials of non-ferrous metal mines and primary products continued to increase. The export value increased to USD 54.8 billion by 10.7%, which declined by 8.7%. The export value of copper and zinc products declined while that of copper and lead products increased.
Trade frictions will be more frequent due to the recovery of manufacture industries in developed countries and the homogeneous competition in developing countries though the global economy grows steadily in 2014-2015. The development environment of non-ferrous metals will be further improved as Chinese economy develops. It is predicted that the production, consumption and investment in non-ferrous metal industry will slightly increase and the prices will fluctuate at low level in China in 2014-2015. Industrial restructuring will be further deepened as the pressure of resources, energy and environment increases.
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