Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Chinese iron ore imports dropped in July from the prior month amid elevated prices and stricter controls on production. Iron ore imports in July, were at 88.51mn mt against 89.42mn mt in June and 112.65mn mt in July last year, according to the General Administration of Customs. 


The country aims to lower production by around 60mn mt this year and has asked local governments and mills to ensure zero annual growth in steel productions. 

Quantity in mn mtJulyJan-July 2021Jan-July 2020Y-o-Y pc change
Steel Exports5.6743.0532.8830.9%
Steel Imports1.058.399.95-15.7%
Imports Iron Ore and Concentrate88.51649.02658.93-1.5%
Source: China Customs

Iron ore imports declined by 1.5pc to 649.02mn mt in the period up to July. This decline was driven by the price rally in commodity markets, according to Davis Index sources. Meanwhile, leading miners like Rio Tinto and Vale witnessed a supply crunch due to extreme weather conditions and labour shortage among others. 


Currently, iron ore supply and demand are flat with prices around $170/mt cfr China. 


Steel exports and imports 


Chinese steel exports continued a downtrend due to higher exports tariffs. The government cancelled rebates on another 23 steel products from Aug. 1 to ensure domestic supplies. 


Finished steel exports in July increased by 35.6pc to 5.67mn mt as compared to the prior-year period. 


While imports of steel products declined 59.8pc to 1.05mn mt in July in the same period. 

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