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Chinese Iron Ore Import Breakdown and Minor Bulk Imports

Iron Ore, Minor Bulks

Australia and Brazil accounted for 85% of the 86.1 Mt of iron ore China imported in September at 55.7 Mt and 17.3 Mt, respectively, according to Chinese customs data. Although tonne-mile demand has benefitted from a 9.0 Mt year-on-year gain in iron ore shipped from Brazil in January-September, this has been offset by falls from West Africa (-14.3 Mt to 10.5 Mt) and Canada (-2.6 Mt to 5.5 Mt) over the same period. Chinese imports of bauxite, alumina, steel scrap, fertiliser, wood pulp as well as nickel, manganese, copper and chromium ore combined rose to a 20-month high of 17.5 Mt in September, up 3.7 Mt year-on-year according to China customs. This was primarily due to a 4.0 Mt rise in bauxite imports to 6.8 Mt, the highest level since January 2014. The majority of this increase came from Malaysia, with smaller growth in shipments from Australia. In contrast, imports of nickel ore fell by 0.7 Mt to 4.0 Mt.