SHANGHAI, Sep 27 (SMM) – Chinese ports saw the amount of iron ore delivered this week sharply decline from the previous week, as authorities imposed restrictions on road transportation and steel production to combat heavy air pollution.
SMM data showed that daily iron ore deliveries from 35 Chinese ports averaged 2.46 million mt in the week ending September 27, down 375,000 mt from the prior week and 206,500 mt from the same period last year.
Environmental restrictions slowed steelmakers’ raw material restocking ahead of the Golden Week holiday, and suspended commodity transportation into and out of ports in the top steelmaking hub of Tangshan from September 22.
One-day iron ore deliveries leaving Jingtang port dropped to only 38,000 mt on September 23, compared with the daily average of above 350,000 mt in the week ending September 20.
The drop in deliveries, however, failed to grow iron ore stocks across those ports, which came in at 110.7 million mt as of September 27, down 1.23 million mt from a week ago and 22.82 million mt from a year ago, showed SMM data.
SMM estimates that 11.26 million mt of seaborne iron ore arrived at major Chinese ports last week, down 2.67 million mt from the week ending September 14.
Iron ore deliveries from Chinese ports are likely to recover after the break, in anticipation of greater arrivals and the removal of environmental limitations at the start of October.