Chinese 2016 Iron Ore and Coal Imports Breakdown
Coal, Iron Ore
Of the 1,024.7 Mt of iron ore China imported in 2016, 83.4% was sourced from Australia and Brazil, in line with last year, customs data show. Shipments from Australia rose by 32.5 Mt to 640.1 Mt, while there was a 23.1 Mt increase in cargoes from Brazil to 214.9 Mt, both all-time highs.
The restart of iron ore mining in Goa last year contributed to a sharp increase in imports from India which rose by 13.5 Mt year-on-year to 15.6 Mt in 2016, with December shipments at the highest level since June 2012 at 2.6 Mt. Shipments from South Africa (-0.5 Mt to 44.9 Mt) and Canada (-0.4 Mt to 9.1 Mt) both fell slightly.
Meanwhile, growth in China’s coal imports, which rose to 255.7 Mt (incl. lignite) in 2016, was primarily driven by higher imports from Indonesia which saw an exceptionally strong increase of 29-30 Mt to close to 103 Mt on the back of surging lignite shipments. By contrast, coal imports from Australia were in line with last year at 70.5 Mt.