* Sept iron ore imports 95.61 million tonnes versus 97.49 million tonnes in August
* January-September imports down 3% from a year ago
* Exports of Sept Steel products down 2.6% from a month ago (bullet point, description and designated item code, adds analyst comment)
BEIJING, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – China’s iron ore imports in September fell 1.9% from a month earlier, official customs data showed on Wednesday, as environmentally-related steel production controlled consumption of steelmaking raw materials.
The world’s largest iron ore consumer imported 95.61 million tonnes last month, compared to 97.49 million tonnes in August and 108.55 million tonnes in September 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
According to the customs office, in the first three quarters of the year, China brought in 841.95 million tonnes of iron ore, down 3% from the same period a year ago.
Despite an increase in shipments from global miners last month with iron ore exports from Australia’s Port Hedland Here For China, up 7.6% month-on-month to 38.62 million tonnes in September, demand remains tepid in China.
Beijing imposed stricter production controls on mills as it aims to put a cap on annual crude steel production. The recent power shortages across the country also had an impact on factory activity.
The industry ministry said in a notice on Wednesday that mills in northern China should cut production from November 15 to mid-March to improve air quality.
“Steel production will continue to be halted during the summer season and the Winter Olympics. It would be difficult to see any increase in domestic iron ore consumption,” analysts at Huatai Futures said in a note ahead of the data release.
Attila Widnell, managing director of Navigate Commodities in Singapore, said: “With the Chinese blast furnace capacity utilization rate remaining close to the current multi-year low ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, we hypothesize that this will result in a significant increase in the portside (iron ore) The material will build up. ) Inventory in the next few months.”
Customs data showed China’s steel products exports stood at 4.92 million tonnes in September, down 2.6% from the previous month. Exports stood at 53.02 million tonnes for the first nine months.
According to the data, last month steel imports increased by 18.16 per cent from August to 1.26 million tonnes. Steel imports stood at 10.72 million tonnes in January-September. (Reporting by Shivani Singh, Min Zhang and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel)