China's 2023 iron ore production is expected to rise 3.5% year-on-year to 238 million tons as mining companies bring in new capacity, an analyst at investment bank Orient Securities said Nov. 29.Miners faced challenges in 2021-2022 as new projects were put on hold due to the pandemic and stringent mining safety measures that limited China's iron ore production growth, analyst said.
The analyst added that the upcoming commissioning of some domestic iron ore projects could increase iron ore production by 8-10 million tons in 2023.
Analysts believe that China's heavy dependence on iron ore imports will continue in the near future, but in the future, the dependency may gradually decrease as domestic capacity grows and the use of scrap steel increases.
According to S&P Global Commodity Insights, China's iron ore imports is expected to fall by 2% in 2022 to 1.102 billion tons, and then fall by another 1.4% in 2023 to 1.087 billion tons.
China imports about 1 billion tons of metallurgical raw materials for its giant industry , with most of the shipments coming from Australia, followed by Brazil.
According to S&P Global, China's iron imports from Australia reached 604.93 million tons in January-October, accounting for 66% of the total imports.
The China Iron and Steel Mine Association, or MMAC, said China's dependence on iron ore imports will fall to about 71% by 2025 due to increased use of scrap steel.
According to According to the China Association of Iron and Steel Industry, back in 2016-2020, China's dependence on iron ore imports remained more than 80% for five consecutive years.
According to MMAC, the use of steel scrap will reach 330 million tons by 2025, while the domestic production of iron ore concentrate and will reach 350 million tons, which will require China to import about 880 million tons of iron ore concentrate by 2025.