SHANGHAI Oct 13 China's iron ore imports surged
to the second highest on record in September, customs data
showed on Thursday, as mills in the world's top steel producer
ramped up production amid healthy profits.
Firm domestic prices also helped curb China's steel exports
to the lowest since February, offering a reprieve for overseas
rivals that had been angered by a flood of cheap Chinese
"Despite a modest fall in steel prices, steel mills were
still making a profit in September and thus lifted steel
production," said Xia Junyan, investment manager at Hangzhou
CIEC Trading Co in Shanghai.
"Actually this year's steel production stood at very high
levels, boosting appetite for imported iron ore."
China imported 92.99 million tonnes of iron ore in
September, up 6.0 percent from the previous month, data from the
General Administration of Customs showed. That was the highest
since the all-time high of 96.27 million tonnes in December
Imports of the steelmaking raw material for January to
September reached 763 million tonnes, up 9.1 percent from a year
The country's steel exports fell 2.3 percent from August to
8.80 million tonnes last month, the data showed. Shipments for
the first nine months of the year were up 2.4 percent at 85.12
Chinese prices for rebar steel, a construction product,
fell 6.5 percent in September, but are still up 39
percent since the beginning of this year.
However, prices may came under under pressure from Beijing's
efforts to restrict home purchases to cool its property market.
(Reporting by Ruby Lian in SHANGHAI and Manolo Serapio Jr in
MANILA; Editing by Richard Pullin)