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China iron ore imports edge higher

Bnamericas Published: Monday, June 10, 2019
China iron ore imports edge higher

Chinese iron ore imports rose 3.7% in May to total 83.8Mt after reaching an 18-month low in April, Simpson, Spence and Young (SSY) said in a note to clients on Wednesday.

However, imports of the raw material were 10.3Mt or 11% lower year-on-year, the London-based shipping broker said.

According to Capital Economics, the decline in iron ore imports is probably in large part due to supply
disruptions in the two key exporters to the Asian nation, Australia and Brazil.

"After all, China's steel production was growing by nearly 13% year-on-year in April and stocks of iron ore at China's ports have fallen sharply. High prices may also be deterring Chinese buying," the UK-based consultancy said in a research report on Monday.

SSY added that iron ore inventories at Chinese ports continue to drop.

"At 122.4Mt, stockpiles of iron ore at Chinese ports fell by 2.5Mt week-on-week on 6 June, marking a fifth consecutive weekly decline, according to data from 42 portside locations monitored by U-metal. Stockpiles were down 35.3Mt year-on-year and 12.7Mt on the month-ago level," SSY said.

China imported 1.06Bt of iron ore last year.

Brazil's total iron ore exports rose 15.8% year-on-year in May after declining for six consecutive months, reaching US$1.80bn, according to figures released by foreign trade department Secex earlier this month.

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