China’s iron ore imports up 9.5% in 2020

China’s iron ore imports increased by 9.5% in 2020 in comparison with 2019, Chinese customs data shows.

The country imported 1.17 billion tonnes of the steelmaking raw material last year, compared with 1.07 billion tonnes in 2019, according to the statistics released on Thursday January 14.

This is despite a 4.5% year-on-year drop in imports in December to 96.74 million tonnes. Last month’s volume is also 1.4% lower than that in November.

China’s monthly iron ore imports trended downward in the fourth quarter. Imports in November fell by 8% month on month.

China’s early economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the increase in its iron ore imports in 2020, sources told Fastmarkets.

“China’s economy has recovered from the downtrend due to Covid-19 quickly. Its strong demand resulted in iron ore that is typically shipped to other regions being diverted to its shores instead,” a trading source in Shanghai said.

Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 62% Fe fines, cfr Qingdao averaged $109.03 per tonne in 2020, up by 16.4% compared with 2019’s average of $93.63 per tonne.

Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 65% Fe Brazil-origin fines, cfr Qingdao averaged $122.31 per tonne last year, up by 17% from $104.50 per tonne a year earlier.

Explore the six macro-economic and steel-specific dynamics set to rebalance the Asia steel and scrap market in 2021. Please read our full report Asia Steel and Scrap: Six Key Forces Driving 2021 today.

What to read next
Fastmarkets launched a new price assessment for MB-GER-0006 germanium dioxide, in-whs China, on Friday May 10.
Fastmarkets has corrected its MB-IRO-0190 Iron ore spot 67.5% Fe magnetite-hematite pellet feed price differential, cfr Qingdao, $/tonne, which was published incorrectly on Monday May 13.
The iron ore market is expected to diverge into two segments in line with the steelmaking industry’s march toward reducing carbon emissions, Fastmarkets learned at the 2024 Singapore Iron Ore Forum (SIOF) on Tuesday May 7
Chinese cobalt metal prices fell to an eight-year low on Wednesday May 8, amid significant market oversupply and bearish sentiment, market participants told Fastmarkets
A wave of restocking throughout the first quarter of 2024 provided some relief in the ternary battery raw materials market in China, stopping the declines in prices for various products that had been seen late last year
This consultation, which is open until May 23, 2024, seeks to ensure that our methodologies continue to reflect the physical market under indexation, in compliance with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) principles for Price Reporting Agencies (PRAs). This includes all elements of our pricing process, our price specifications and publication frequency. You can […]