New Delhi: Prices of Indian iron ore export to China have dropped by 6% to about $188-$192 per tonne during the week ended 6 December, owing to reluctance of Chinese buyers to pay more for the mineral.
“Indian iron ore traders tried to raise iron ore fines prices to $200-$203 a tonne CFR (Cost and Freight) before Christmas but failed to push transaction prices higher than $190. With Chinese buyers staying off the market, exporters have now cut offers again,” the Metal Bulletin said.
Chinese steel mills always have cash flow problems at the end of each year, especially before the Chinese new year which is the usual time for bank loan repayments and the payment of bonuses to employees, it said.
Moreover, the uncertainty over how Beijing will rein in inefficient steel making capacities and impact of steel export tax revisions introduced on 1 January were adding to steel mills’ caution particularly at small and medium sized mills.
It quoted Chinese traders as saying that the market had reacted with a little concern to a possible increase in Indian iron ore export taxes as they have heard nothing of an ad valorem increase in iron ore royalties in India.
China imported 5.73 million tonnes of iron ore from India in November, up only 0.6% year-on-year. In the eleven months till November, China imported 70.99 MT of Indian ore, up 4.6%.
Overall China imported 349 million tonnes of iron ore till November, an increase of 17.2% year-on-year, the bulletin added.