Chinese iron ore imports in June hit 13-month low with fewer shipments
By Min Zhang and Shivani Singh
BEIJING, July 13 (Reuters) – Chinese iron ore imports fell for a third consecutive month in June to their lowest level in 13 months, official customs data showed Tuesday, as arrivals of the key steel-making ingredient missed market expectations.
The world’s largest consumer of iron ore imported 89.42 million tonnes of material last month, down 0.4 percent from May, according to General Administration data. Imports of iron ore were down 12.1% from June a year earlier.
In the first half of 2021, China consumed 560.7 million tonnes of the ingredient, 2.6% more than in the same period a year earlier, according to customs data.
Robust steel production and strong factory profits fueled demand for iron ore in China during the first half of the year, also pushing raw material prices to record highs.
The value of imported iron ore jumped 71.7% on an annual basis during the January-June period.
“As we move into the second half of the year, all eyes will be on the extent to which Chinese demand is slowing and Brazilian supply is increasing,” said Rohan Kendall, head of iron ore research. at Wood Mackenzie, prior to data release.
Wood Mackenzie adjusted its iron ore price forecast to $ 185 per tonne CFR in the third quarter, from $ 200 per tonne in the second quarter.
Customs data on Tuesday also showed that China’s steel exports jumped 22.5 percent from the previous month to 6.46 million tonnes in June, while imports rose 2.5 percent. to 1.25 million tonnes.
For the first half of the year, China exported 37.38 million tons of steel and imported 7.35 million tons from overseas markets, according to customs data.
(Reporting by Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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