The spot market will account for 83% of China’s iron ore imports this year, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said in its half-year report, according to Reuters. Steel production soared in the first half of the year on the back of government stimulus efforts that have driven up demand in the construction and auto sectors. With negotiations between CISA and the major international miners over iron ore contract prices deadlocked, most ore is being imported on a spot or indexed basis. Spot prices have risen 33% so far this year and stood at US$95.30 a ton on Tuesday, up from an average of US$83.436 in July, according to the Steel Index. Iron ore imports hit a record 57 million tons in April, and CISA believes traders accounted for 44% of this activity, up from 30% a year ealier. The association has said it plans to limit imports to end-users or to trading companies already contracted to serve end-users. However, imports are expected to fall in coming months as stockpiles grow.
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