Dry CargoGreater China

China on track to hit 1bn tons of iron ore imports for the year early

China is on track to hit the 1bn ton mark of iron ore imports much earlier this year than in 2016.

Analysts Alphabulk note that China imported 1.024bn tons of iron ore last year, a figure it is on course to easily surpass.

China took 539m tons of imports in the first six months of this year alone, 9.3% higher than the 493m tons seen at the same point in 2016.

“Longer term, imports will depend on the continued profitability of the steel industry, which is currently enjoying a golden period due to the government-led rationalisation of mills,” Alphabulk noted in its most recent weekly report.

The use of scrap steel in place of iron ore is also expected to become a growing issue, as China generates excess scrap from the demolition of old infrastructure, the analyst added.

China produced a record 143m tons of scrap in 2016, four times the amount it was producing 15 years ago.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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