BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Iron ore stockpiles at 25 major ports in China continued to climb in the week ending July 16, as an economic slowdown discouraged steel factories from expanding production, according to Xinhua's latest iron ore price report released on Tuesday.
Inventories of imported iron ore at the ports stood at 98.26 million metric tons, up 350,000 metric tons week-on-week.
The price index for 63.5-percent-grade iron ore imports fell 1.44 percent, or 2 points, to 137 points in the week.
The index for 58-percent-grade imports dropped 1.7 percent to 116 in the week.
Squeezed by rising costs and declining prices, Chinese steel makers had either reduced their production or lowered prices to tide them through the current economic slowdown, leading to the lowest amount of purchases of iron ore, Xinhua analysts said in the latest report.
The sluggish demand on the downstream of the steel sector will create downward pressure for imported iron ore prices pull the prices in the short term, according to Xinhua analysts.