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China’s July iron ore imports hit record high on robust demand

Reuters | Updated on August 07, 2020 Published on August 07, 2020

Arrivals of the key steel-making ingredient were 112.65 million tonnes   -  Bloomberg

Arrivals were up 11 per cent over previous month

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BEIJING, August 7 China’s iron ore imports in July surged to a record, up 24 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, driven by shipments from miners and resilient demand as the economy bounced back after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.

Arrivals of the key steel-making ingredient were 112.65 million tonnes last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. That is up 10.8 per cent from 101.68 mt in June and above the 91.2 mt imported in July 2019.

Over the first seven months of the year, China brought in 659.6 mt of iron ore, rising 11.8 per cent from the same period last year, the customs data showed.

Non-mainstream suppliers

“The jump in imports mainly came from non-mainstream suppliers as shipments from Brazil are still hurt by the pandemic,” said Wu Shiping, analyst with Tianfeng Futures, adding that strong demand in China has also propped up purchases despite surging iron ore prices.

The most-active iron ore futures contract in China gained more than 14 per cent last month.

Average capacity utilisation rates of blast furnaces at 163 mills in China, indicating input of the steelmaking ingredients, was at an average of 86 per cent in July, dipping a bit from 86.4 per cent in the previous month but still at a relatively high level, according to Reuters calculations based on data from Mysteel consultancy.

Steel products trade

Data released by the customs office also showed China's steel imports were 2.61 million tonnes in July, the highest since April 2004.

Steel exports from China were 4.2 mt last month, down 25 per cent from July 2019.

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Published on August 07, 2020
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