SHANGHAI, Dec 7 (SMM) - According to the General Administration of Customs, China imported 98.85 million mt of iron ore and concentrates in November, an increase of 3.87 million mt or 4.08% MoM but down 5.82% YoY. The imports totalled 1.02 billion mt from January to November, a year-on-year decrease of 2.1%.
SMM attributes the reasons for the sharp increase in imports in November to the follows.
1. The fourth quarter is the peak season of shipments for overseas mines. Overseas shipments in October were lower than expected, thus the major mines ramped up their shipments in November to achieve their annual targets.
2. Domestic demand grew slightly. November is usually the off-season for demand, but the demand in November 2022 is not slack amid the relatively warm weather. Steel mills were more willing to produce, and the pig iron output stood high. In November, steel mills generally got low in-plant inventories, and some mills increased their purchasing volume of iron ore in anticipation of the impact of poor weather conditions and COVID-19.
SMM believes that the imports of iron ore will rise further in December, which is attributed to the following reasons. (1) Steel mills carry low in-plant inventories of iron ore, and they will restock raw materials approaching the end of the year. 2. Aided policies in China will boost the downstream demand and the market sentiment. (3) Overseas shipment volume will be high, and the port inventory in China from January to November remained lower than the same period last year.