As presented by the by latest trade data from Chinese General Administration of Customs and reported at Shanghai Metals Market, the country’s iron ore imports raised and reached an all-time record during in 2016. The net imports during the year surpassed the incredible mark of1 billion tons.
Customs statistics shows that China imported 1.024 billion tons of steelmaking raw material in 2016, a 7.5% increase from the year before. The shipments from Australia and Brazil increased significantly during the year, and Brazilian’s iron ore exports to China might increase since the main producer in the country was recently authorized to explore the biggest mine on earth, what will increase its production by 90 million tons a year. The rise in imports can be mainly attributed to the unexpected – considering pledges to control excess production – rise in steel production by the country and the lower domestic mine output. The spurt in imports was supported by strong rebound in iron ore prices. After three consecutive years of price decline, iron ore prices got 80% higher last year.
Going forward 2017’s forecast, China’s iron ore demand is likely to increase at similar levels. Early indicators suggest that the country’s iron ore imports grew to 92 million tons in January 2017, what represents 3.2% month-on-month increase. The various stimulus measures undertaken by Chinese administration is likely to boost steel demand in the country. Also, the government move to shut down steel making facilities that use scrap as raw material towards a better quality and clean industry may further boost Chinese iron ore demand.