China’s Iron Ore import in October down from September according to customs data. Trade flow data however, tell a different story…

Klaveness Research weekly 45

China imported 79.5Mt of iron ore in October according to official trade data, down 2% YoY and down 25% from the all-time high in September (on an annualized basis). YTD Iron Ore import totals 897Mt, which is up 7% as compared to last year. The full breakdown of the imports will be released later in the month.

Graph YTD Iron Ore Imports per July Graph illustrating China Iron Ore Imports

Klaveness Research says:

The 25% drop from the previous month is not reflected in the trade flow data we are monitoring. The trade flow data point to a small 2% drop in seaborne volumes on an annualized basis. Thus, we do not think the market should read too much into the monthly drop in imports reported by customs. Chinese steel production growth was still strong as of mid-October. We believe the Chinese steel production growth will be lower going forward as curbs on steel production in the Northern part of the country starts to bite. However, the high margins from steel production should incentivize steel production at maximum capacity outside of the regions where production is being curtailed. In short, we do not expect a sharp fall in overall steel production or raw material demand going forward.