China exports once more increased quantities of steel
by David Fleschen
he iron ore price on Singapore's SGX is just running out of the copper price and has today risen towards USD 150 per tonne. In December alone, iron ore prices have risen by 16% so far. We reported here yesterday on the continuing robust Chinese imports and last week on concerns about supply shortages. The latter have been given new food today after the Port Hedland Port Authority in Australia reported that around 4% less iron ore was exported via the port in November than last year (41.6 million tonnes). Compared to the previous month, it was even more than 10% less and the lowest quantity since February.
Meanwhile, there are also signs that demand for iron ore outside China is picking up: In Japan, the world's third largest steel producer, the largest national steel producer is considering restarting several blast furnaces as demand for steel rises, especially from the automotive industry. Japan has to cover its iron ore requirements through imports. Meanwhile, China exported more steel again in November. According to customs data, 4.4 million tons were exported, 9% more than the previous month. This was also the largest quantity since April. Steel exports have also almost reached their previous year's level again. Here, the record high steel production and the seasonally somewhat subdued demand for steel in the country are apparently making themselves felt. By contrast, Chinese aluminum exports in November were barely up on the previous month and were still down year-on-year.
Source: Commerzbank Research, Photo: Fotolia