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Chinese seaborne iron ore trade remained resilient in 2020

The reports indicate that mainland China imported 1104 million tonnes of iron ore by sea throughout last year

China’s seaborne iron ore imports recorded 6.5 percent growth last year amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, media reports said. It is reported that the global iron ore imports last year surged by a marginal +0.2 percent y-o-y to 1514 million tonnes. The data is produced by Refinitiv.

The reports indicate that mainland China imported 1104 million tonnes of iron ore by sea throughout last year, representing a +6.5 percent surge y-o-y, from the 1.36 million tonnes imported in 2019. Furthermore, the iron ore imports by the rest of the world were merely 410 million tonnes in 2020, compared to 473 million tonnes in 2019.

The reports added that Mainland China now accounts for 73 percent of all iron seaborne trade. 2020 was slightly volatile on a quarterly basis. China recorded a -2.0 percent y-o-y growth to just a 257.1million tonnes of iron ore in the first three months of 2020.

The second quarter of 2020 was impressive for the industry as China imported 268.1 million tonnes of iron ore between April and June, recording a +18.2 percent y-o-y growth. The country further imported 294.6 million tonnes during the same quarter which marked a +9.4 percent y-o-y growth compared to the same period in 2019.  The peak was recorded in October with 107.0 million of iron ore receiving at Chinese ports, marking an unexpected all-time record.

The Chinese ports received 90.7 million tonnes in November and 86.2 million tonnes in December, marking the lowest since March. However, the growth was still +2.7.

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