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Update on China’s iron ore imports

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Dry Bulk,

China’s February imports of iron ore fallen 16% since January.

According to data from General Administration of Customs, the country’s imports decreased to 84.27 million t. In comparison, January’s imports were 100.34 million t.

More recently, on 6 March, the delivery of iron ore to China’s Qingdao port .IO62-CNO=MB fell 0.3% to US$75.84/t. This is the weakest it has been since 5 February.

While January and February imports rose 5.4% from 2017, the Lunar New Year break in mid-February affected the iron ore imports, as it curbed industrial demand. Similarly, steel mills have been forced to cut production in order to meet government restrictions, with the intention of improving air quality.

Wang Di, CRU Analyst in Beijing, stated: “We can just take the January and February data together (given the holiday) and the average is around 90 - 95 million tpm, and that’s still very strong.”

Di expects iron ore imports to remain high over the following months, due to seasonal demand in March and April.

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