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Chinese iron ore imports rise as others slide

Keywords: Tags  steelmaking raw materials, iron ore imports, ferrous scrap imports, Chinese customs

SHANGHAI — China’s imports of iron ore continued to rise in September, while those of coking coal and ferrous scrap declined, according to Chinese customs data.

India, which used to be among the top three iron ore suppliers to China, fell to the bottom end of the top-10 list in September. Imports from India totaled 790,000 tonnes, down 51.5 percent from August, due to the nation’s export ban and monsoon season.

Arrivals from Australia, the largest supplier to China, rose 8.6 percent month on month to 34.5 million tonnes; shipments from Brazil increased 11.5 percent to nearly 13.8 million tonnes.

Iron ore imports from all destinations totaled 65.01 million tonnes for the month, up 4.1 percent month on month and 7.4 percent higher than September 2011.

Meanwhile, China’s imports of coking coal sank to 2.4 million tonnes in September, the lowest level thus far this year. The tally is also down 5.8 percent from August and is 37.5 percent lower year on year.

Arrivals from Mongolia increased 21.1 percent from August to 1 million tonnes, while those from Australia and Russia fell 25.9 percent and 36.8 percent, respectively.

The country’s imports of ferrous scrap totaled nearly 297,825 tonnes in September, down 23.9 percent from August and 57.3 percent lower year on year.

The United States, the No. 2 supplier to China in August (, Sept. 21), slipped to fourth place in September as its deliveries plummeted 91.9 percent month on month to just 7,208 tonnes. Chinese buyers shunned U.S. scrap imports largely due to high prices from the United States.

Imports from top supplier Japan dropped 5.6 percent month on month to 212,506 tonnes.

China’s scrap imports in the coming months could improve a little, as bookings increased in October, sources told AMM sister publication Steel First.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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