Iron ore stocks in China’s 30 major sea ports stood at 98.52Mt at July 20, hitting an 18-week record high.

The CISA-sponsored China Iron Ore Price Index (CIOPI) in the July 9-13 period rose 0.33% from a week earlier to 461.54. During the period, China’s domestically produced iron ore price averaged RMB 939.89/t (US$147.5/t) down 0.13% from the previous week. The average price of imported iron ore CIF increased 0.51% week-on-week to US$138.85/t (tax included). The price index for 63.5% grade iron ore imports fell 1.44%, or 2 points, to 137 points in the week while the index for 58%Fe grade imports dropped 1.7% to 116 in the week ending on July 20.

Chinese steel makers had either reduced production or lowered prices to tide them through the current economic slowdown, leading to a fall in the amount of iron ore purchased.

Chinese customs said the nation’s exports rose 11.3% year on year to US$ (28.25bn) in June, but this was a slowing from May’s 15.3%. Imports increased 6.3% to US$148.48bn, also down from the 12.7% growth registered a month earlier. China has launched a serials of stimulus policies including the easing of monetary policy, but it will take three to six months for the policies to show any effects.

Source: China Metals e-mail