SHANGHAI, May 10 (SMM) – China’s iron ore imports stood at 87.28 million mt in March, down 14.5% year-on-year, but up 7.4% month-on-month. Many steel mills resumed their production in March after the heating season ended, which boosted the demand for iron ore and accounted for the MoM increase in the imports.
China’s iron ore imports stood at 86.06 million mt in April, down 12.7% year-on-year and 1.4% month-on-month. Overseas shipments continued to decline due to seasonal factors, which dragged down China’s import volume in April. In addition, high iron ore prices and thin profits kept steel mills cautious about purchasing. After the National Development and Reform Commission and other government departments made investigations into the inventory of imported ore of large traders, some traders began to slow down their purchases of imported ore and reduced their inventories, which also led to a decline in iron ore imports.
With the gradual recovery of overseas shipments, iron ore imports are expected to increase in May. Given thin profit margins of steel mills, the increase in imports is expected to be contributed primarily by low-grade, non-mainstream ore. In light of continuous depreciation of Chinese yuan, the imports are likely to be limited in May.