China’s iron ore imports from Port Hedland, Australia, fell 4% in April as demand weakened, according to data released by the Pilbara Ports Authority on 4 May.
The data showed that iron ore imports fell from 31.2 million tonnes in March to 30.1 million tonnes in April.
The volume is at the lowest level since November 2014, with exports to most other key markets also decreased.
A total of 35.4 million tonnes iron ore left Australia through Port Hedland during April, down 3.4% from 36.6 million tonnes in March, according to the port authority.
Inventories of imported iron ore at 33 major Chinese ports stood at 92.44 million tonnes during the period (28 April-4 May), down 1.84 million tonnes or 1.95%, from the previous period (21-27 April), according to the latest report of Xinhua-China Iron Ore Index.
Prices of major imported iron ore dropped to USD60 per tonne last week as a result of weak demand, and the downward trend of steel prices will continue to weigh on prices of imported iron ore, said the report.
For the week ended on 4 May, the price index for imported iron ore 62% Fe dropped two points from the previous week to 56, while that of iron ore 58% Fe fell two points to 50.
China produced 200 million tonnes crude steel in the first quarter of 2015, down by 1.7% year on year, as demand shrank amid a slowing economy and government moves to restrain the saturated sector, official data showed.