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15. Mai 2012

Chinese iron ore imports at 6 month low on weak steel market

Reuters reported that spot iron ore prices in top consumer China slipped on recently as a slow recovery in steel demand kept most buyers off the market with steel prices hovering near levels last seen in February.

China iron ore imports dropped to a six-month low of 57.69 million tonnes in April as falling steel prices forced mills to buy more iron ore from old stocks sitting at ports and use more domestic material.

Ms Judy Zhu commodity analyst at Standard Chartered in Shanghai said China latest trade data, which also showed copper imports at eight-month lows reflect the slow pace of recovery in Chinese raw material demand. She said "We feel that demand right now, although it has been improving from a month ago, has been improving in a very, very soft pace."

According to industry consultancy Umetal, offer prices for imported iron ore in China originating from Australia, Brazil and India fell by USD 1 per tonne on Thursday.

The most active rebar contract for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed almost flat at CNY 4,190 a tonne. It hit a session low of CNY 4,180 near Wednesday's intraday low of CNY 4,170 the weakest since Feb. 17.

Steel Index said in a note that "Many mills say they have sufficient iron ore stocks for now and even those operating with minimal inventory have little interest to buy."

Source - Reuters

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