Iron ore prices hit a six-and-a-half-year high last week due to the significantly increased demand from China, where industrial and economic activities have already resumed to normal from the epidemic.
On September 14, the transaction price of 62% grade iron ore in North China was assessed at $130.17/t, a fresh high since mid-January 2014. The price of iron ore has jumped by over 41% this year.
Supported by surging demand, China's iron ore imports have increased by 20% year on year in the past three months. From January to August this year, China imported nearly 760 million tonnes of iron ore, up 11% year on year; import value amounted to $70.6 billion, an increase of 7.5%.
Brazilian officials said that current iron ore production in Brazil can fully meet China's growing demand. "The recovery in Chinese demand is very beneficial to the Brazilian iron ore market," said Alexandre Vidigal, Brazilian Secretary of Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation.
Brazil's iron ore exports account for 59% of the country's mineral output. In the second quarter of this year, Brazil's iron ore exports were 76 million tonnes, an increase of 8% from the first quarter, but a decrease of 3% from the same period last year. "The iron ore industry is recovering, and the mining industry will play an important role in Brazil's economic recovery," said Vidigal.
Brazilian mining giant Vale said that the company's operations have now returned to pre-epidemic levels, with exports reaching 33.4 million tonnes in July, an increase of nearly 60% from June.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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