China’s imports of iron ore rose 4.1% in November from the previous month, customs data showed on Wednesday, as buyers stocked up before the end of the year, in anticipation of Beijing’s measures to support the struggling property market.
The world’s top consumer of iron ore brought in 98.85 million tonnes last month, up from October’s 94.98 million, the General Administration of Customs said.
However, the arrivals were however sharply lower than the November 2021 figure of 105 million tonnes, the highest in two years.
Beijing has recently stepped up support measures for property developers, after many defaulted on debt obligations and were forced to halt construction, hitting demand for steel.
The central bank outlined 16 such support measures last month, while China’s biggest commercial banks have pledged at least $162 billion in fresh credit to free up a cash crunch that has stifled the sector.
From January to November, China imported 1.02 billion tonnes of iron ore, down 2.1% on the year-earlier period.
Last month, its steel product exports were 5.59 million tonnes, up from 4.36 million in November 2021.
Exports in the first 11 months of the year were up 0.4% on the year, at 61.95 million tonnes.
(By Dominique Patton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez)