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Growth in China's iron ore imports to slow: Huatai Securities

Beijing: A research report released by Chinese securities dealer Huatai Securities Co., Ltd. predicted that the growth rate of China's iron ore imports will decline in 2008 although the absolute import quantity will continue to increase. The report estimates China's crude steel output in 2008 will reach 540 million tons, up 10.89 per cent over that in 2007, and pig iron output at 520 million tons, up about 10.8 per cent. Calculated at the ratio of 1:1.6 for iron ore consumption, it estimates the country's iron ore consumption in 2008 will increase by some 80 million tons over 2007.
China's raw iron ore production is estimated at 807 million tons (comprising 707 million tons from officially monitored large and medium-sized mines and some 100 million tons from local small mines not covered by official statistics) in 2007, up 15.46 per cent over 2006.
Huatai Securities predicts this figure will hit about 902 million tons in 2008, an increase of some 100 million tons over 2007, which could be converted into about 33 million tons of newly increased concentrates at 33 per cent grade. That is to say, an additional 47 million to 48 million tons will still depend on imports in 2008, and the import growth over 2007 is estimated at 12 per cent, much lower than that in 2007.
The report also predicts China's import dependence on iron ore will decline with a pending slowdown of growth in crude steel production. [7/5/08]


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