IRON and STEEL
According to General Administration of Customs, China - the world's largest iron ore consumer and importer recorded iron ore and pellet imports at 92.86 MnT in Oct’19. The imports witnessed 7% fall on monthly basis compared to 99.36 MnT in Sep’19. The decline in imports is attributed to falling demand amid increased production curbs and shrinking steel margins.
Chinese mills witnessed week long holidays (1st Oct to 7th Oct) leading to drop in imports. Also, China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan issued second level pollution alert in Oct affecting production further. Besides, towards early Oct’19 mills in Tangshan were ordered to reduce sintering, pelletizing and blast furnace operations from Oct. 10 until Oct. 31.
Chinese iron ore imports for the month were also hindered by increased imports of semi-finished and finished steel products by Chinese mills from other countries.
As per data compiled by SteelHome consultancy, Iron ore inventory at major Chinese ports increased to 131.65 MnT towards Oct'19 end as against 129.95 MnT assessed towards beginning of the month.
However, on a yearly basis China's iron ore imports picked up by 5% as compared to Oct’18 imports at 88.4 MnT.
The total imports for Jan-Oct'19 witnessed at 877.2 MnT, down by around 14 MnT as against same duration previous year (Jan-Oct'18) at 891.5 MnT.
Average global iron ore fines prices down in Oct’19
Monthly average global iron ore fines (Fe 62%) decreased by 4% for the month of Oct’19 as compared to last month's prices. The prices recorded at USD 89/MT, CFR China in Oct against last month at USD 93/MT, CFR China. The spot iron ore fines (Fe 62%) have witnessed drop in past few months against USD 120/MT, CFR China assessed towards July’19.