China iron ore imports jump 19%; Demand firm
China’s iron ore imports rose in March from
relatively low levels a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, with
demand for the steelmaking ingredient underpinned by robust industrial
“Iron ore imports just returned to a normal level
from a relatively low base last year when shipments were affected by extreme
weather in Australia and Brazil,” said Cai Biyu, analyst with GF Futures.
The world’s biggest iron ore consumer brought in
102.11 million tonnes of the raw material last month, according to data from
the General Administration of Customs, up 18.9% from March 2020.
In the first quarter, China imported 283.44 million
tonnes of iron ore, up from 263 million tonnes over the same period last year.
Demand for iron ore has been supported by robust
steel consumption in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Steel futures prices have surged to record highs of
over 5,000 yuan ($763.58) per tonne and prompting demand for iron ore.
“Despite production curbs in Tangshan, mills in
other places could replenish stocks on peak season demand,” said Cai.
The customs data also showed that China exported
7.54 million tonnes of steel products and brought in 1.32 million tonnes last month.
In the first quarter, China’s steel exports rose
23.8% from a year earlier to 17.68 million tonnes.
Steel imports in the first three months of the year
increased 17% on an annual basis to 3.72 million tonnes, according to the
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Clarence
Fernandez and Christian Schmollinger)