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China iron ore imports up in April

Bnamericas Published: Monday, May 09, 2016

China's iron ore imports reached 83.9Mt in April, up 4.6% year-on-year but down 2.2% month-on-month, Barclays said in a report, citing Chinese customs service data.

The small month-on-month decline should be due to day-count differences between March and April, according to the UK lender.

"Steel industry in China is still enjoying very strong margins following a pick-up in FAI [fixed-asset investment] and real estate developments, as well as a tail wind from futures market trading," Barclays said.

But, it added: "We see tentative signs of cooling, such as a big drop in steel prices in SHFE last week as well as a small increase in steel inventories. However, orders for May and June should be mostly arranged by now, thus current momentum could extend into Q2 at least in our view."

BRAZILIAN EXPORTS

Exports of Brazilian iron ore to China over the January to April period increased 26.7% year-on-year to 59.8Mt as revenue contracted 19.6% to US$1.48bn, foreign trade department Secex said.

Iron ore pellet shipments to China dropped 50% to 1.29Mt in the period. By value, pellet exports slumped 62.9% to US$80.7mn, Secex said.

China's iron ore imports come mainly from Australia and Brazil. Both countries accounted for about 85% of the iron ore imported by China last year, compared with 70% at the beginning of 2014.

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