China's domestic run-of-mine (ROM) iron ore output was largely flat in July compared with that a year earlier, although prices were stronger.
The country mined 73 million tonnes of ROM iron ore last month, flat from a year ago, taking the total volume to 486.44 million tonnes in the first seven months, a marginal 3.6% rise.
Output of iron alloy increased 3.9% on the year to 2.94 million tonnes in July, bringing the year-to-date volume to 19.99 million tonnes, up 1.6%.
With growing demand for the steelmaking material, domestic output only represents a smaller share of its total consumption. Customs data showed China's iron ore imports in July totaled 110 million tonnes, a 10.8% rise year on year, the highest in the history.
Thanks to robust demand of steel products to serve the massive infrastructure construction in China, iron ore prices have repeatedly created record highs.
Data showed the futures price have been steadily rising by over 30% since April, and the spot prices at ports have broken $120/t to a six-year high.
Analysts said that after iron ore is processed into steel, about 45% is used in real estate, about 30% in infrastructure construction such as railways, and the remaining 25% is used in other industries such as home appliances and shipbuilding.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Tammy Yang)
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