|August 10, 2011|
China Iron Ore Imports Rise on Expectations Prices May Gain
|China, the world's biggest buyer of iron ore, boosted purchases by 6.8 percent in July as steelmakers start to replenish stockpiles on expectations seasonal demand for the raw material in autumn may lift prices. |
Imports climbed to 54.55 million metric tons last month, compared with 51.09 million tons in June, according to China's General Administration of Customs. That's 6.4 percent higher than 51.28 million tons of a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China's steel output in July fell 1 percent to 59.3 million tons from a month ago as power shortages affected some production, according to data released by the National Statistics Bureau yesterday. Steelmakers usually ramp up production in September and October as the power restrictions ease, stoking iron ore consumption and prices, analysts and traders said.
"There were more auctions of iron ore from Brazil and Australia in July," said Xu Guangjian. People are preparing for "the traditional peak season starting from September."
The cash price of 62 percent-iron ore arriving at China's Tianjin port has risen for five straight weeks, gaining 0.06 percent on Aug. 8 to $178.10 a ton, according to the Steel Index. It's still 7.2 percent lower than a record $191.90 in February.
Imports gained 7.9 percent to 388.63 million tons in January-July from a year earlier, the customs office said today.
Steel-product exports rose 3.5 percent to 4.44 million tons last month from 4.29 million tons in June, according to the data. The shipments were up 2.3 percent to 28.77 million tons in January to July from a year earlier, the customs said.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at [email protected]
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