By Paul Ploumis
May 22, 2017 03:30:14 AM
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest trade data published by the Korean Customs Service suggests marginal rise in iron ore imports by the country during April this year. This is the second straight month of gains in import, after the significant decline reported during February. However, the cumulative imports during the initial four-month period of the year were still below the levels recorded during the corresponding period last year.
According to trade statistics, iron ore imports by South Korea in April 2017 totaled 5.831 million tons. This is marginally higher by 2.5% when matched with the same month a year before. It must be noted that the country’s iron ore imports had totaled 5.689 million tons in April 2016. Out of the total imports, non-agglomerated iron ore accounted for bulk of the imports. The imports of non-agglomerated ore totaled 5.317 million tons, accounting for more than 91% of the total imports. When compared with the previous year, the imports of non-agglomerated iron ore were up by 3%. Meantime, imports of agglomerated iron imports, which totaled 514,000 tons, declined marginally by 2.3% over the previous year. The imports had totaled 526,000 tons in April 2016.
Month-on-month, the iron ore imports declined significantly during the month, when compared with 6.565 million tons imported during March this year.
The cumulative imports of iron ore by the country during the first four months of 2017 have dropped slightly by 2.3% when matched with the same period last year. The imports totaled 23.041 million tons during January to April this year.
Imports- Mar ‘17
The South Korean iron ore imports had totaled 6.565 million tons in March this year, recording a marginal rise of 1.7% over the previous year. The import prices averaged at $75.40 per ton, rising significantly by 47.6% over the previous year. The import prices had averaged at $51.10 during March last year.
Imports- Feb ‘17
The Korean iron ore imports during February this year totaled 4.428 million tons, dropping significantly by 26.7% when compared with the imports during the same month a year before. The imports had totaled 6.038 million tons during February 2016. The average price of import witnessed sharp rise of 55.2% to $76.8 per tonne when matched with the average import price of $49.5 per tonne during February last year. Also, the total value of imports increased significantly by 13.8% from $299.028 million to $340.298 million.
The agglomerated iron ore imports during Feb ’17 totaled 496,374 tons, rising sharply by 260.8% over the previous year. The non-agglomerated iron ore imports by Korea totaled 3.932 million tons.
Imports- Jan ‘17
The South Korean iron ore imports had totaled 6.129 million tons. The imports had started the year on a strong note, rising modestly by 3.3% compared with 2016. Australia accounted for 68% share of total imports by Korea during the month. The imports from Australia totaled 4.177 million tons, at an average price of $68.2 per ton. The imports from Australia soared higher by nearly 40% over the previous year. The second largest supplier of the steelmaking raw material was Brazil, which exported 1.219 million tons of iron ore to Korea at an average price of $70.9 per ton.
Meantime, the spot iron ore prices continued its rally, hitting the highest levels in two weeks. The benchmark 62% fines prices rose by nearly 2% to $62.69 per tonne on Friday, thereby hitting the highest level since May 4th.