Iron ore shipments leads china’s imports.


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China’s iron ore imports set a record in July, leading gains in purchases of raw materials by the world’s biggest consumer. Arrivals of the steel-making ingredient rose 17 percent from a month earlier to 73.14 million metric tons after a 15 percent drop in prices in second quarter spurred mills to replenish stockpiles, according to data from the General Administration of Customs today. That beat the 70.94 million tons in December and was the highest in data compiled by Bloomberg stretching back to 1990.
Monthly shipping imports surged more than fivefold in the past decade and ore prices entered a bull market on July 26 as steel makers rebuilt stocks and increased output. China’s total shipping exports and imports rebounded more than estimated in July, adding to signs that the second-largest economy is stabilizing following a two-quarter slowdown.
“Consumption will improve in the fourth quarter as the economy steadies,” said Wu Jianguo, an analyst at Maike Futures Brokerage Co. in Shanghai. He cited government support across the economy, ranging from tax reform to increased loans by banks to small companies.
Soybean shipping arrivals rose 3.9 percent from June to 7.2 million tons and were also a record. Monthly imports of unwrought copper copper and copper products rose to 410,680 tons, the highest level in 14 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ore with 62 percent iron content shipped to Tianjin port rose to the highest level since April 30 yesterday, adding 1.3 percent to $133.10 a dry ton, according to a price index compiled by The Steel Index Ltd.
Import Costs
“Prices at around $110 levels in June made ore imports cheaper than the ore produced from costlier domestic mines,” said Zhang Jiabin, a Beijing-based chief iron ore analyst with researcher Custeel.com.
The rebound helped boost the price of steel reinforcement-bar futures in Shanghai, which closed at a 15-week high of 3,743 yuan a ton today, and may encourage more output from mills.
China’s economic-planning agency said Aug. 4 the construction of transportation-related infrastructure projects would be accelerated, adding to efforts to boost domestic steel demand. The nation’s crude-steel production gained 7.4 percent to 389.9 million tons in the first half of this year from a year ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
For the first seven months, iron ore imports climbed 8 percent to 457.23 million tons from a year earlier, customs showed. Steel-product exports were 5.15 million tons in July, it said. Shipments increased 14 percent to 35.83 million tons in the January-July period from a year earlier, customs said.
Source: Bloomberg

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