"Import figures may appear confusing to investors. For example, China’s imports of copper and copper products rose 19.5% y/y and 5.9% m/m in July, to 366.5kt; this implies that refined copper imports should have been around 264kt in July, up 36% y/y. These are very strong readings. However, investors should be wary of linking import data to China’s real demand, as the vast majority of imports are based on one-year term contracts rather than spot buying. Our understanding is that many imports are not destined for end-consumers. Instead, larger imports lead to larger stockpiles, though this could be absorbed by the market when strong demand returns."