Structural Change, Performance and Demand on Resources
Edited by Ligang Song and Haimin Liu
Chapter 8: China’s iron ore import demand and its determinants: a time- series analysis
Yu Sheng and Ligang Song
China’s rapid economic growth and openness to trade dramatically increased its production, consumption and export (directly or indirectly) of iron and steel products during the two decades between 1986 and 2006. The expansion of China’s iron and steel industry has lifted its demand for iron ore – one of the major inputs in the production of iron and steel – and driven up world prices of iron ore in recent years. During the period 2000– 06, China’s consumption of iron ore increased from 292 to 908 million tonnes with an average annual growth rate of 20.8 per cent. In 2006, the total consumption of iron ore in China accounted for 57.6 per cent of total world production. China has become the largest consumer of iron ore in the world and a key driver underlying the resource boom since the mid 2000s. However, as pointed out by Garnaut (2012), the increase in import share of iron ore supply by China over the past 20 years is likely to be a unique occurrence – a source of growth in imports that will not be there to any significant degree in the future.
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