China to import 355 mln tons of iron ore next year 2006-12-30 09:16:57

    BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- China will import the bulk of the world's increasing demand for iron ore next year, with imports expected to rise by 30 million tons to 355 million tons in 2007,an industry report says.

    The China Iron and Steel Association (CSIA) predicted that international demand and supply would remain stable next year.

    China's largest steelmaker, the Baosteel Group Corp, has settled the iron ore price for 2007, at a 9.5 percent increase from last year, with the major iron ore producers, including Brazilian Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD).

    Luo Bingsheng, executive deputy president of CSIA said the price reflected market conditions, and China had made a headway in taking the lead in negotiations for the first time.

    China's domestic iron ore output rose sharply in 2006, easing the tight market situation. Official figures show large mines produced 521 million tons in the first 11 months, an increase of 38.2 percent on the same period last year.

    He estimated China would import around 325 million tons of iron ore this year, a rise of 18.2 percent year-on-year, much lower than the 30 percent growth since 2003.

    CSIA also released the industry threshold, together with the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, saying the registration capital of iron ore import enterprises should reach 20 million yuan, with good credit ratings and storage capacity.

    Importers should also be well-equipped with pollutant disposal facilities to meet the country's environment standard.

Editor: Ling Zhu
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