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Nearly half of imported iron ore at Hebei port of low quality: report

2013-08-19 10:09 Global Times Web Editor: qindexing

Almost all of the iron ore imported from Mexico were found to be of low quality at the port in Hebei Province in the first half of 2013, news portal www.ce.cn reported Sunday.

According to the report, the office of Hebei entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau has inspected 405 batches of iron ore worth $2.79 billion in the first half of the year, which accounts for 6.28 percent of the country's total imports.

However, 178 batches were found to be substandard, accounting for 43.95 percent of the total.

According to the bureau, the port's iron ore imports are mainly from 24 key exporting countries including Australia, Brazil and India. All of its imports from Mexico are not qualified, and 90 percent of the iron ore imported from Brazil have been tested to contain too much water, which posts danger to port's environment and shipping safety.

As of 2009, the nation's quality watchdog said that only about 51 percent of the imported iron ore were qualified, while the China Iron and Steel Association has said that the imported iron ore quality is getting worse and worse, the news portal reported.

Insiders said that the high-priced but low-quality iron ore will drive costs higher and squeeze margins of steel companies. Latest figures from the General Administration of Customs showed that China imported 457 million tons of iron ore in the first seven months of this year, up 8 percent year-on-year.

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