Affected by supply disruptions in the world’s major producing countries and driven by record domestic steel production, China’s iron ore imports from India in the first half of this year hit the highest level in eight years.
China Customs data shows that in the six months to the end of June, China’s iron ore imports from India more than doubled year-on-year to 20 million tons. This is also the highest level of iron ore exports from India to China over the same period in the first half of 2012. India exported 27.8 million tons of iron ore to China in the first half of 2012.
China relies heavily on imported iron ore to meet more than two-thirds of domestic demand. The strong demand from domestic steel plants has led to a substantial increase in imports. For many years, China has been seeking multi-channel imports of iron ore so that supply risks and price fluctuations can be effectively controlled. This task has become even more urgent after the supply interruption of Vale in Brazil. In the first half of this year, iron ore imports from Australia accounted for nearly 65% of total imports, and iron ore from Brazil accounted for 17%.