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China’s Imports of Iron Ore, Coal and Soyabeans in May

Coal, Grain, Iron Ore

China imported 87.0 Mt of iron ore in May. Although down on April’s year-to-date high of 95.7 Mt, this was up 3.3 Mt year-on-year, preliminary customs data show. At 445.5 Mt, iron ore imports recorded annual growth of 20.2 Mt in the first five months of the year.

By contrast, Chinese coal imports (including lignite) dropped to 22.1 Mt in May, down by 5.4 Mt year-on-year. Year-to-date imports have, however, registered annual growth of 21.5 Mt.

Industry sources report cargoes of steam coal have been turned away from ports in Southern China due to import quotas having been exhausted.

Meanwhile, as signalled by record Brazilian exports in April, May was a very strong month for China’s soyabean imports with annual growth of 2.0 Mt to 9.4 Mt.