BEIJING, March 8 (Reuters) – China’s imports of copper fell 20 percent in February from a month earlier, dropping for a third straight month as a week-long shutdown for Lunar New Year crimped buying in the world’s biggest copper consumer, data showed on Thursday. Arrivals of anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products were 352,000 tonnes, according to the General Administration of Customs. That’s down from a robust 440,000 tonnes in January, when China imported more unwrought copper instead of types of copper scrap that are now banned, and up from 340,000 tonnes in February 2017. The Lunar New Year festival ran from Feb. 15-21 and analysts had pointed to pre-holiday restocking as a reason for China’s bumper commodity imports in January. Last year, the holiday fell in late January and early February. China’s February copper concentrate imports came in at 1.45 million tonnes, down from 1.62 million tonnes in January and versus 1.43 million tonnes in February 2017. The country exported 372,000 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, including primary, alloy and semi-finished aluminium products, in February, down from January’s 440,000 tonnes.

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