Imports of Major Bulk Commodities Increase, Iron Ore Imports Set Record in Dec

Date:Jan 13, 2016
Source:www.wallstreetcn.com


In December 2015, imports of major bulk commodities in China increased on the whole month-on-month.

Judging from the imports in December, the imports of such major bulk commodities as iron ore, crude copper, crude oil and coal have all increased as compared with November of 2014. Specifically, the month-on-month growth of crude oil, refined oil and steel exceeded 20%; that of refined oil reached 51.31%; and that of iron ore set a record high.

With the continuous falling of international bulk commodity prices, the gross import value in China reached RMB1.05 trillion in December, down by 4%.

Last year, the import in China presented the situation of “slow growth and falling price”. The General Administration of Customs (GAC) said that as China’s economic development enters into a new normal, domestic economy has faced great downward pressure and the imports growth of some bulk commodities has slowed down. In 2015, the imports of crude oil in China increased by 8.8%; that of iron ore 2.2%; and that of coal, copper and steel went down by 29.9%, 0.3% and 11.4% respectively, all presenting some fall-back compared with the previous year.

The GAC said that the import prices in China dropped by 11.6% on the whole in 2015. Specifically, the imports decline of such bulk commodities as iron ore, coal, refined oil and copper was 39%, 21.8%, 38.8% and 17.1%, respectively.

 

 

Imports of Major Bulk Commodities in China
Unit: million tons

 

2015.12

2015.11

Ups & Downs (Month-on-Month)

2014.12

Ups & Downs (Year-on-Year)

2015

2014

Annual Ups & Downs

Iron Ore & Its Concentrate

96.27

82.131

17.22%

86.85

10.85%

952.72

932.51

2.17%

Copper Ore & Its Concentrate

1.48

1.437

2.99%

1.17

26.50%

13.29

11.81

12.53%

Unwrought Copper & Copper Product

0.53

0.462

14.72%

0.42

26.19%

4.81

4.83

-0.41%

Coal & Brown Coal

17.64

16.192

8.94%

27.22

-35.19%

204.06

291.22

-29.93%

Crude Oil

33.19

27.338

21.41%

30.37

9.29%

335.5

308.38

8.79%

Refined Oil

2.84

1.877

51.31%

3.2

-11.25%

29.9

30

-0.33%

Steel

1.18

0.915

28.96%

1.21

-2.48%

12.78

14.43

-11.43%

Data Source: the General Administration of Customs       Made by: wallstreetcn.com

 

China’s imports went down by 7.6% in December year-on-year in the US dollar terms, which was much better than the predicted fall of 11.0%. In 2015, the imports fell by 14.1% year-on-year and the trade surplus was US$594.5 billion.

Huang Songping, Press Secretary of the GAC, said at a press conference that the great drop of global bulk commodities prices and the slow-down of imports growth of bulk commodities are the major reasons for the decline of China’s imports in 2015. He said that attention will be continuously paid to the exchange rate changes and the trade changes.

China’s iron ore imports set record high in December.

According to the GAC’s statistics, China’s iron ore imports increased by 17% month-on-month in December, reaching 96.27 million tons. In 2015, the import growth of iron ore was 2.2%, with the total amount of 952.72 million tons.

The pick-up of import iron ore might be related to the recovery of the steel industry. In December of the previous year, the PMI of the steel industry was 40.6, which, though far lower than the threshold, presented great improvement than the previous value of 37. And all sub-indexes have presented some improvement. Specifically, the data of new orders increased by 11.2 and those of manufactured inventory went down by 9.7.

Judging from historical data, the iron ore prices in the end of the year generally present some increase. In the end of 2014, the rebound of iron ore 1505 contract exceeded 10% and that of iron ore 1405 in the end of 2013 was lower than 5%.

China’s crude oil import keeps increasing and sets record high in 2015.

China’s appetite for crude oil keeps increasing. At the time of the sharp decrease of oil prices, China has increased the purchase of crude oil and the imports growth in December month-on-month reached 21.41%. In 2015, the total import crude oil reached the unprecedented amount of 334 million tons and its imports went up by 8.8% year-on-year to 334 million tons, equaling to import about 6.7 million buckets of crude oil every day.

At the same time, the average import price of crude oil dropped from RMB2,856 per ton at the beginning of 2015 to RMB2,000 per ton in December, down by 29.3%. The average import price in 2015 went down by 45.3% compared with the previous year.

To promote the crude oil import, China has explored to loosen the rules of crude oil import of private refineries with an aim of speeding up the crude oil inventory. Li Li, an analyst of ICIS China, said that the growth of crude oil import of China might reach 12% at most in this year, reaching 370 million tons, which is more than the 336.3 million tons predicted to be imported by the United States this year.

Li Li said before the release of the above data that major reasons for China’s increase in crude oil import are the opening of crude oil import qualification to private refineries in China and the construction of the strategic crude oil storage facilities. Meanwhile, the external dependence of the US crude oil will gradually decrease along with the increase of domestic output.

At 0:00 on Wednesday (Beijing Time), the US oil dropped by over 4% during trading to US$29.96 per bucket, setting the record low of the past 12 years.

In December, China’s coal import increased month-on-month but dropped sharply year-on-year.

In December, China’s coal import increased by nearly 9% month-on-month. But it presented the decrease of over 35% compared with the same period of the previous year and the total drop of nearly 30% in the whole year, which conforms to the continuous slump of coal demand in China.

In 2015, the over-capacity of the coal industry in China was increasingly prominent and the scale of losses of the coal industry reached the historical high of 70%.






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