China imported 250 million tons of iron ore fines in the first eight months of 2007, a growth of 14.5 percent year on year, according to latest statistics released by the General Administration of Customs.
The arrivals were valued at US$19.61 billion, up 43.8 percent.
Customs sources said the import price of iron ore fines from January to August averaged US$78.2 per ton, up 25.5 percent compared with the same period of last year. The price soared to US$89.8 per ton in August, up 36.9 percent year on year.
Experts held that the hike of iron ore fines price was mainly triggered by the rocketing freight cost, which by the end of this June had more than doubled the year-earlier level. The mounting cost was due largely to the shortage of international shipping capabilities.
In a related development, the nation's imports of copper ore fines in the first eight months this year went up 35.9 percent year-on-year to 3.192 million tons, which were valued at US$6.01 billion, up 63.2 percent.
The average price of the arrivals in the January-August period rocketed to US$1,882 per ton, up 20.1 percent year on year.
The nation has scarce copper ore resources and mainly imports copper ore from Chile, Peru, Mongolia and Australia to fill up the gap between supply and demand.
According to the latest report of International Copper Study Group, world supply fell short of demand by 130,000 tons in the first half of this year after seasonal adjustment. The short supply gives strong support to the copper price hike.
With the brisk domestic demand for copper, industrial insiders predict that the nation's copper price will continue going up in the fourth quarter of this year.
(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2007)