China’s iron ore imports on track to top 1 billion tonnes; India shipments surge – by Manolo Serapio Jr (Reuters India – November 25, 2016)

MANILA – China’s iron ore imports from India surged in October and purchases from Australia grew slightly, data showed on Friday, with total shipments to the world’s top buyer of the steelmaking commodity on course to top 1 billion tonnes this year.

Shipments from Australia, which account for nearly two-thirds of China’s imports, rose 3 percent to 49.89 million tonnes last month, according to China’s official customs data. Shipments from No. 2 supplier Brazil increased 17 percent to 17.88 million tonnes.

China’s total iron ore imports were 80.8 million tonnes in October, the lowest since February, but the biggest volume ever for the month of October.

That brought total imports to 843.31 million tonnes in January to October, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and on track to top last year’s 952.84 million tonnes.

“We can easily see over 1 billion tonnes for the full year. I don’t think there’s any disruption from the production side overseas,” said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities. Lau has forecast a 9 percent increase in China’s iron ore imports to 1.038 billion tonnes this year.

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