China’s robust August iron ore, coal imports mirrored in prices – by Clyde Russell (Daily Mail/Reuters U.K. – September 1, 2016)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Sept 1 (Reuters) – China’s imports of iron ore and coal remained robust in August, providing a fundamental justification for the ongoing resilience in the price of the two major bulk commodities.

Although there are several more factors driving prices than China demand, it’s also worth noting that crude oil imports likely slipped back somewhat in August, coinciding with a retreat in the price of global benchmark Brent crude.

Imports of iron ore by China, buyer of about two-thirds of global seaborne supplies of the steel-making ingredient, were estimated at 89.26 million tonnes in August by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodities Research, based on vessel-tracking and port data.

While the shipping data doesn’t exactly dovetail with official data because of slight differences in when cargoes are assessed as having arrived for customs purposes, it was within 2.5 percent of the customs numbers over the first seven months of the year.

Official data for August commodity imports will be released in about 10 days time. If the official numbers mirror the vessel-tracking data, it would mean August’s iron ore imports would be the second-highest on record, and the most in any month this year.

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