In the first six months of this year, China's iron ore imports grew by more than 9% year-on-year to 539 million tons. If China maintains this level of purchases in the second half of the year, iron ore imports will surpass the record 1.024 billion tons set last year.
According to British media on July 17, China's iron ore imports will set a record this year, as domestic steel mills turn to the marine iron ore market to obtain the supply of such steelmaking raw materials.
According to customs data released on July 13, 94.7 million tons of iron ore arrived in China in June, up from 91.5 million tons in May, the Financial Times website reported on July 14.
These figures show that imports in the first six months of this year increased by more than 9% year-on-year to 539 million tons. If China maintains this level of purchases in the second half of the year, iron ore imports will surpass the record 1.024 billion tons set last year.
China's steel mills have increased production this year to take full advantage of unexpected price increases.
Threaded steel (the largest volume of construction steel) has risen 37% this year and reached its highest level in three and a half years on the 13th. Factors that boost demand include infrastructure spending and Beijing's determination to curb excess capacity in the country's huge steel industry.
Analysts say domestic iron ore has become unpopular in the hinterland of China's steel production as the government tackles pollution from sintering plants. In these sintering plants, rough, low-grade iron ore is combined with other materials at high temperatures to produce products that can be directly fed into the blast furnace. However, this process is the main source of pollution and sulfur dioxide.