CHART: China imported 32.4 tonnes of iron ore per second in 2016

China imported a lot of iron ore in 2016, again.

December saw 88.95 million tonnes imported, leaving the total for the year at 1.0247 billion tonnes.

That was up 7.5% on the levels of a year earlier, and was the highest annual total on record.

To put the 2016 total into perspective, it equates to an average of 32.4 tonnes of ore imported every second during the year.

That’s a lot of ore.

In 2016, the benchmark price for 62% iron ore fines surged by 80%, according to Metal Bulletin — clearly benefiting from a rebound in Chinese steel production and reduced output from Chinese iron ore mines.

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