SHANGHAI, Jul 24 (SMM) – Inventories of seaborne iron ore at Chinese ports continued to trend higher this week, as demand took a hit after Tangshan banned road transport and some mills scaled back operations due to heavy rain and floods.
SMM data showed that iron ore stocks across 35 Chinese ports increased 2.31 million mt in the week ended July 24 to 105.21 million mt, larger than a 1.48 million mt gain in the previous week. The stocks have risen for six consecutive weeks and were 1.09 million mt lower than a year ago.
During the same week, iron ore deliveries from the 35 ports averaged 2.53 million mt per day, down 278,000 mt from the previous week, according to SMM data.
The top steelmaking hub of Tangshan banned transporting cargoes by truck from or to its ports of Caofeidian and Jingtang from last weekend, lowering daily iron ore deliveries from the two ports by more than 50%, or 330,000 mt compared to the week before, as some cargoes were allowed to leave by rail.
That, coupled with concentrated arrivals, led to sharp gains in inventories of seaborne iron ore at the two ports in Tangshan this week.
Inventories at some ports along the Yangtze River also climbed this week, as heavy rain and floods forced some mills to deepen maintenance or suspend furnaces.