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June01, 2015

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70 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS 2015 JUNE 1.2015 By Bill Mongelluzzo China's economic slowdown is putting the brakes on growth in exports from the U.S. CHINA WAS THE world's dominant importer of copper for 20 years, but the long period of spectacular growth is coming to an end. Copper miners, traders and transportation providers — expecially liner operators in the westbound trans-Pacific — will notice the lackluster shipments. "We're not looking for a collapse, but not for growth, either," Paul Dewison, director of base metals at SNL Metals and Mining's consulting division, told the spring meeting of the American Copper Council in Dana Point, California. China since the early 1990s has been center stage in copper imports, he said. This was certainly the case for refined copper, with China accounting for 44 percent of the global market. Combined with other coun- tries in Asia, which account for 23 percent of refined copper, the continent accounted for two-thirds of the global market. Europe and the North American Free Trade Agreement countries had most of the remaining share, with Latin America's share about 3 percent. Copper is shipped in refined and scrap form. The U.S. is a major shipper of scrap copper and other metals, which provide good backhaul cargo that fills containers being returned to China after U.S. imports of merchandise are unloaded. Shipments to China began to level off in 2013 for a variety of reasons, mostly at "We're not looking for a collapse, but not for growth, either." Copper's Tarnished Growth

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