Iron ore imports have fallen for the first time in 12 years or are not sustainable

Abstract China's iron ore import data was released yesterday. Last year, China imported 618 million tons of iron ore, a decrease of 1.4% from 2009. This is the first year-on-year decline in iron ore imports from China since 1998. However, the dollar spent increased by 58.4%, spending...

China's iron ore import data was released yesterday. Last year, China imported 618 million tons of iron ore, a decrease of 1.4% from 2009. This is the first year-on-year decline in China's imports of iron ore since the second year of 1998. However, the dollar spent increased by 58.4%, and the total cost exceeded $79.4 billion.

The decline in imports is an exciting news for Chinese steel mills that have been squeezed by Brazil's Vale, Australia Rio Tinto and Australia's BHP Billiton giants, but my steel network information director Xu Xiangchun reminded that this trend may not Sustainable.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, in December alone, China imported 58.08 million tons of iron ore and spent US$8.487 billion. Imports fell by 6.6% over the same period last year. However, from the ring data, December increased from November, while November increased from October.

The reason why the industry explained, because the steel mills have seen that the three giants will increase prices in the first quarter of 2011, so increase imports when prices are lower. Sheng Zhicheng, director of information for Nishimoto Shinkansen, said that iron ore imports and hoarding continued to increase at the end of last year. According to the latest data on domestic iron ore port stocks, the port inventory on November 5 last year was 72.8 million tons, which increased to 77 million tons on the last day of 2010, increasing by nearly 4 million tons.

From the whole year, China's iron ore imports amounted to 618 million tons, down 9 million tons from 2009. In fact, as of the end of December last year, China’s iron ore imports have fallen for 8 months compared with the same period of last year. As of October, it has been a year-on-year decline for 7 consecutive months. This trend was only interrupted in November. However, the cost of importing iron ore last year has increased by more than $29 billion.

â–  Interpretation
Reason for quantity reduction
Domestic mines run some imported mines
Xu Xiangchun, director of our steel network information, said that China's steel output continued to increase this year, while the reduction of imported iron ore was due to the large increase in iron ore prices, which stimulated the enthusiasm of domestic iron ore production, and the production of domestic mines increased significantly. , extruded some imported iron ore. In addition, the price of iron ore has increased significantly this year, and the increase is even greater than 78%, resulting in a decline in domestic demand for imported iron ore and a decline in demand.

Lei Xiping, secretary general of the China Metallurgical and Mining Association, also said that the increase in domestic ore production led to a decrease in imports. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the growth of raw ore in the first 11 months was 180 million tons, an increase of 22.9%.

Will this trend continue? Industry experts believe that it is not sustainable. Because domestic steel demand will increase further, and as prices change, international iron ore prices will also stimulate import enthusiasm. In addition, although China's steel companies have been looking for overseas minerals, the number of equity mines has increased but the overall number is small.

Reason for price increase
International demand for ore price increase
Why is China's iron ore imports decreasing and international iron ore prices still rising? The reporter learned that the key reason is that the international economy has gradually recovered since 2010. In addition to China, the demand for iron ore in Europe and South Korea has increased, and the increase in demand in the international market has led to an increase in iron ore prices.

Moreover, starting in 2011, the three giants abandoned the annual price mechanism and adopted quarterly pricing. The price change cycle was greatly shortened, the price was closer to the spot market price, and the overall price naturally rose.

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