China’s iron ore imports up in August

China’s imports of iron ore jumped in August, as low prices prompted more bookings in late July.

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Iron ore arrivals in August jumped by 7.9% from July to total 62.45 million tonnes, according to preliminary Chinese customs data release on Monday September 10.

“Chinese buyers may have thought prices were low enough in late July to make some new bookings,” a trader in Shanghai said.

Some market participants may have bought the lower-priced cargoes to lower their overall cost, having purchased higher-priced material previously, he said.

Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index stood at $118.36 per tonne cfr China on July 31, down 12.6% from a month earlier.

But contrary to some market expectations, spot iron ore prices fell further to a three-year low of $88.08 cfr on September 6.

Total arrivals of iron ore during the first eight months of 2012 totalled 486.05 million tonnes, up 8.7% year-on-year.