Iron ore inventories dip in China

Updated: 2011-12-14 10:20


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BEIJING - Inventories of iron ore at 25 major Chinese ports dipped 0.75 percent week-on-week to 99.6 million metric tons in the week ending on December 12, according to the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index released on Tuesday.

It was the first time in a month for iron ore supplies to fall below 100 million metric tons, with last week's inventories down by 750,000 metric tons, according to the index.

The price index for 63.5-percent-grade imported iron ore dropped 1.36 percent to 145 points in the week, while 58-percent-purity iron ore imports remained unchanged at 119 points.

A decline in crude steel output dampened buying enthusiasm among most steel manufacturers and iron ore traders, who are still waiting to make a move in light of possible price fluctuations in the future, according to Xinhua analysts.

According to customs data, China's steel exports stood at 45.16 million metric tons between January and November, up 13.8 percent from a year earlier, while steel imports fell 4.2 percent year-on-year to 14.39 million metric tons.

Currently, China's domestic iron ore is cheaper than imports, putting Chinese steelmakers in a position to limit their purchases of raw materials, particularly from overseas.