China importing 85 percent of its iron ore needs on lower prices


China is importing more than 85 percent of the iron it needs, as cheap foreign iron ore undercuts domestic products. Caixin Online reported.

Some 86.7 percent of the iron ore the country needed was imported in the first two months of the year, up from 84 percent last year, it quoted Wang Liqun, vice chairman of the trade group China Iron and Steel Association, saying at an industry forum.

Last year’s figure surpassed 80 percent for the first time, up from 78.5 percent in 2014, he said.

Wang said imports grew mainly because the global price of iron ore plunged from about US$ 130 per ton in early 2014 to around US$ 40 late last year. Meanwhile, domestic miners have failed to keep up with the price cuts due to high costs.

China produced 1.38 billion tons of iron ore last year, down 7.7 percent year on year, official data show. The output for the first two months of this year combined was 162 million tons, a further decline on the record for the same period last year.

Most of the cuts this year occurred in the northeastern province of Liaoning, the northern region of Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang, which is in the northwest.

The price of iron ore on the global market has rebounded since December, exceeding US$ 60 per ton this month.


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