HomeBusinessChina 2021 iron ore imports retreat from record on steel curbs

China 2021 iron ore imports retreat from record on steel curbs

BEIJING : China’s iron ore imports dropped in 2021, down 4.3per cent from the earlier yr’s record annual excessive, as steel manufacturing curbs imposed to fight air pollution dented demand and pulled costs of the important thing steelmaking materials off historic highs.

The world’s high iron ore client introduced in 1.12 billion tonnes of the commodity final yr, in contrast with 1.17 billion tonnes imported in 2020, knowledge from the General Administration confirmed on Friday.

For December, China imported 86.07 million tonnes of the uncooked materials, down 18per cent from November, the info confirmed.

(Graphic on, China’s annual iron ore imports: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/zgpomayjkpd/annualironore.png)

China consumed iron ore at a speedy fee within the first 5 months of 2021, backed by sturdy steel manufacturing as mills loved first rate earnings underpinned by a restoration in demand after the primary waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, imports then began to contract on an annual foundation as authorities urged steel mills to chop manufacturing to fulfill an annual goal of holding crude steel output flat. Slowing building exercise additionally muted downstream demand for the commercial metallic.

During June-December 2021, China’s iron ore imports slid almost 10per cent from the identical interval a yr earlier. Benchmark iron ore futures costs on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dived 45per cent by end-December from the height of 1,239 yuan per tonne logged in May.

(Graphic on, China’s seasonal iron ore imports: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/jnvwejklwvw/seasonalironore.png)

“For 2022, iron ore supplies from major miners are expected to remain stable, while the demand-side is largely decided by authorities’ policy towards steel output controls,” mentioned Zhuo Guiqiu, analyst with Jinrui Capital.

A government-backed consultancy expects iron ore imports to proceed to say no to round 1.08 billion tonnes in 2022 on falling steel manufacturing and rising utilization of steel scrap.

STEEL TRADE

The customs knowledge on Friday additionally confirmed the nation’s steel merchandise exports jumped 24.6per cent to 66.9 million tonnes in 2021 from a yr earlier, although mills and merchants had been urged by Beijing to make sure provide for home market.

China’s steel imports final yr dropped 29.5per cent to 14.3 million tonnes, in accordance with the customs.

(GRaphic on, China’s steel exports and imports: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/akvezejnopr/steeltrade.png)

(Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger & Shri Navaratnam)

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