The country imported 1.17 billion tonnes of the iron ore last year, an increase of 9.4% compared with 2019.
European Union countries collectively accounted for the largest decrease among major iron ore importers, with purchases tumbling 20.8% year on year to 105.19 million tonnes.
Japan also imported 16.8% less iron ore in 2020, as did South Korea, which reported a 5.7% drop.
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China bucked the trend among major iron ore importers by continuing to increase its purchases of the steelmaking raw material from abroad in 2020.