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Chinese iron ore imports hit 14-month low

Photo: BHP WesternAustraliaIronOre_HQ.jpg
China’s iron ore imports fell to 88.5m tonnes in July, the lowest level since May 2020, according to Bimco.

The July low comes as volumes have consistently fallen from a March peak around 90m tonnes. Last year, Chinese iron ore import volumes were at there highest in July at over 112m tonnes, according to Bimco’s analysis of customs data.

The July drop brings accumulated imports for the first 7 months of 2021 to 649m tonnes, down 1.5% from the same period last year. July 2021 imports were 21.4% lower than July 2020 volumes.

NBS China said that Chain’s steel production was falling as the country moves to meet emissions targets, despite robust demand for steel.

“A decline in Chinese iron ore imports following record-breaking imports in the first six months to the year seemed inevitable viewing that the Chinese government wishes to keep emissions growth in check. However, as demand for steel remains strong in China, it remains to be seen to what extend the Chinese government will continue to limit steel supply due to environmental concerns,” says Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst.

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