Interestingly, copper prices haven't exactly been mimicking the action in imports i.e. rising imports suggest rising demand; rising demand suggests rising price. In fact, it's been more like a mirror image as prices have fallen for the better part of the last five months:
There is a key distinction to be made in the latest Chinese copper import numbers. While there has been considerable improvement, it is not necessarily indicative of an improvement in real demand, but rather demand from those looking to restock, those who will eventually sell it on to the copper consumer when demanded.
Further, copper might not be the best indicator of Chinese demand and economic strength:
Currency Currents 2 November 2011