Iron ore imports by China in the first half of 2011 from the three major sources, Australia, Brazil and India, accounted for 75.4% of the total. This is 6.3% lower than the 81.7% a year earlier, pointing to a diversifying sources of the country’s iron ore imports.

As of June 2011, China’s iron ore importers expanded from the 37 countries a year earlier to a total of 53 countries. South Africa is the fourth largest source of China’s iron ore imports, accounting for 5.3% of the total.

The average price of the iron ore imported from the South Africa was US$183.2 /t, the highest of all sources; while that from Brazil, Australia and India were $174/t, $168/t and $183.2/t respectively.

? Hebei Iron and Steel Group (HBIS) is aiming to get half its iron ore from its own mines within five years, a surge from below 9% at present, said a senior executive of the company on August 11. HBIS plans to produce 35Mt of iron ore concentrate in 2015, which will account for 50% of the steelmaker’s ore needs.

Source: China Metals e-mail