Chinese Dry Bulk Imports in 2016
Coal, Grain, Iron Ore, Steel
Chinese iron ore imports fell by 7.3 Mt year-on-year in December to 89.0 Mt, the first fall since October 2015, according to customs data. However, strong growth in the preceding months meant 2016 imports were still up by 71.4 Mt year-on-year at an all-time high of 1,024.7 Mt. Meanwhile, China exported 109.0 Mt of steel in 2016, down slightly from 112.4 Mt in 2015, but still the second highest annual total on record. This was despite annual declines in shipments in each of the last five months of the year.
Chinese coal imports (incl. lignite) rose by 9.2 Mt year-on-year in December to 26.8 Mt, capping a strong end to the year which saw annual growth of 52% in imports in August-December. Coal imports in 2016 were up by 51.5 Mt year-on-year at 255.7 Mt, the largest annual gain since 2012.
Furthermore, China’s soyabean imports climbed to an all-time high of 83.1 Mt in 2016, up 1.5 Mt year-on-year, according to data from China Customs. This was despite shipments falling slightly below the year-ago level in December to 9.0 Mt.