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China’s iron ore imports, stockpiles rise month-on-month

Sep, 08, 2022 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202236

China’s iron ore imports in August rose 5.5% from the prior month, as customs data showed on Wednesday, September 7, even as operating rates at blast furnaces only slightly improved.

The world’s top iron ore consumer brought in 96.21 million tonnes of the steelmaking raw material last month, up from July’s 91.24 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said.

However, China’s iron ore imports were slightly down from the 97.46 million tonnes imported in August 2021.

See below the track record of the iron ore (HS 2601) volume exported from January 2021 to July 2022 from Brazil to China. The data is from DataLiner

Brazilian exports of iron ore to China | Jan 2021 – Jul 2022 | WTMT

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo)

Chinese steel mills shut down blast furnaces in the second quarter because of the high price of iron ore and other steelmaking ingredients, as well as weak demand because of troubles in the country’s property sector and measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In recent weeks, several blast furnaces have resumed operations but operating rates during August were further reduced by the heatwave last month which curbed production in some areas and construction activity, impacting steel demand.

Thus, iron ore arrivals have outpaced demand, resulting in a build-up of portside inventories, said  Atilla Widnell, managing director at Navigate Commodities in Singapore.

Stocks at Chinese ports hit a four-month high of 143 million tonnes as of Sept. 2, according to SteelHome consultancy data.

During the January to August period, China imported 723 million tonnes of iron ore, down 3.1% from the same period a year ago, customs also said.

Exports in the first eight months of the year were down 3.9% from the same period a year ago to 46.23 million tonnes.


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