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MOFCOM: imports of lead concentrates from DPRK are forbidden

2017-08-18 02:49:48
Beijing, August 16, (Antaike)- The Ministry of Commerce of P.R.C. (MOFCOM) released a statement on August 14th, according to which, China would prohibit the imports of coal, iron, iron ores, lead, lead ores and aquatic and seawater products from DPRK based on the U. N. Security Council Resolution 2371. After September 5th, China Customs will stop handling the import formalities of those products. For domestic nonferrous metals market, the main impact is the ban on lead concentrates imports from DPRK. Lead concentrates imports had increased year by year in 2010-2013, and had been stable at around 100 kt (physical weight) each year in 2014-2016, ranking top 5 origins of the world. However, the average grade of lead is quite low at 30-40%, so it is estimated the annual import quantity of lead metal in concentrates was about 30-40 kt annually in the past 3 years. In the first half year of 2017, the imports increased by 48.9% y-o-y that should be a reaction against the resolution 2321 concerning the ban of imports of copper, nickel, silver, zinc, etc from DPRK on December 24th of 2016. We learn that nearly all DPRK's lead concentrates flowed into China in recent years most through railway transportation to primary lead smelters in northeast regions of China. We were told in a field visit in northeast by local lead smelters on August 15th that they still hold quite abundant raw materials stocks, and had no production reduction plans. Later this year, they would enhance purchasing from other countries as well as domestic mines. We do believe the impact of the policy change will be limited. Northeast lead smelters could get lead concentrates supply easily from lead miners in Inner Mongolia, Hebei province and northeast regions. We also noticed that the imports from Russia and Mongolia have reached 22 kt and 7 kt (physical weight) in H1 2017 on a yearly basis, respectively. When the zinc concentrates imports from DPRK were forbidden last time, northeast local zinc refineries supplement their insufficient supply from other sources. So, the situation will be similar this time in lead smelters. Besides, China also imported less than 1 kt of lead alloys from the countries each year. But, the quantity is too low to affect domestic lead market. (If you have any queries about the news, please contact Raymond Zhang via Email:, or phone: +86-10-63978092, ext. 8096) (If you have any queries about customer service, please contact Li Yuan via Email: or phone: +86-10-62560921)