IRON and STEEL
According to General Administration of Customs, China - the world's largest iron ore consumer and importer, recorded fall of 7% in iron ore imports to 80.77 MnT in Apr'19 against 86.42 MnT in Mar'19
The import volumes has dropped to 18 months low as it was last witnessed in Oct'17 at 79.42 MnT.
On yearly basis import volumes has also dropped by around 2MnT against 82.92 MnT in Apr'18.
The total imports for the CY19 (Jan-Apr'19) witnessed at 341.53 MnT, down sharply as compared to 353.29 MnT in CY18 (Jan-Apr'18).
Why Import volumes to China fell?
1. Supply disruption from Brazil and Australia: Vale dam accident of Jan'19 and Weather disruption at Australian port towards Mar'19 end led to material availability issues in global market.
Brazil iron ore exports for the month of Apr'19 recorded 17% drop to 18.34 MnT as compared to Mar'19 exports at 22.18 MnT, according to trade statistics released by Brazil customs.
2. Domestic (China) pellet and concentrate availability: Due to less environment restriction in China Steel mills are very much comfortable to use domestic pellets and concentrates due to cost-effective measures.
Average global iron ore fines prices up 8% in Apr'19 amid material supply shortage
Monthly average global iron ore fines (Fe 62%) prices increased to USD 93/MT, CFR China in Apr'19 as against USD 86/MT, CFR China in Mar'19.