BEIJING, Mar. 4 -- China's iron ore imports may hit a new record in March, reaching 60 million tons, as the annual iron ore contract will expire on Apr. 1 and the international iron ore price is expected to surge under new contracts, said an industry analyst, sources reported.
It is estimated that the country's total iron ore imports will hit a new record high this year, partly because of the growing output of Chinese steel mills.
In January, China imported 46.62 million tons of iron ore, 43% more than the 32.65 million tons it imported in the same month of last year, but 25% less than in December. Total iron ore imports in 2009 were 627.78 million tons, 41.6% more than in the previous year, according to an earlier report from China Knowledge.
An insider from a large Chinese steel company said late last month that China's iron ore contract price talks with the world's leading suppliers have entered the final stage and that the suppliers have asked an increase of between 70% and 80% in the price of iron ore and an increase of between 80% and 100% in the price of coke.