Iron ore imports by China slumped in October to the lowest in more than a year, sinking from a record of above 100 million tonnes, as mills prepared for unprecedented state-ordered curbs on steel output over winter, Bloomberg reported.
Imports dropped to 79.5m tonnes in October, down from September’s 102.8m tonnes, and is the lowest amount since February 2016. Over the first 10 months, iron imports by the world’s top importer still expanded 6.3% to 896 million tonnes.
Iron ore users and investors have been tracking China’s bid to rein in pollution this winter by imposing restrictions on mills’ production, in addition to curbs on other industrial activity. The drive has buttressed prices of higher-quality ores that are more efficient, while spurring speculation about a demand roller-coaster, with weaker consumption seen near term before a possible snapback in spring. At the same time, miners in Brazil and Australia have added supply.
Source: Bloomberg, General Administration of Customs