Metals News
China November Iron Ore Imports Jumps 29 Percent on Stocking
industry news
Dec 12,2011

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Iron ore imports by China, the biggest buyer, rebounded 29 percent in November from an eight- month low as some steelmakers replenished their stockpiles after prices fell.

The country imported 64.2 million metric tons of iron ore last month, the General Customs said on its website. This is the highest since January, and compares with 49.94 million tons in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Iron ore prices for immediate delivery tumbled 31 percent in October amid China’s credit tightening and slowing steel demand from builders and automakers. The prices will find a floor at $120 a ton as Chinese steelmakers replenish stockpiles, IG Markets’ Chris Weston said Nov. 30.

Ore with 62 percent content at China’s Tianjin port closed unchanged at $139.4 a ton at Dec. 8, according to the Steel Index. The prices have gained 19 percent from $116.9 reached Oct. 28, the lowest level this year.

China usually begins restocking bulk commodities in November before ramping up production in the New Year, UBS AG said in a Nov. 22 report. Prices won’t decline below $120 a ton next year “even in a stress scenario” because lower levels will put some Chinese and international suppliers out of business, Vale SA, the world’s largest producer, said last month.

In the January-to-November period, iron ore imports gained 11 percent to 622 million tons from a year ago, customs said.


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