China June iron ore output hits 20-month high, buoyed by prices

20 July 2017

China's iron ore output jumped in June to its highest level since October 2015, data showed on Wednesday, the strongest sign yet that soaring prices have spurred miners in the world's top consumer of the steelmaking raw material to boost production.

Output rose 5 percent from a year ago to 124.7 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Prices have been on a tear in recent months as steel mills have churned out record volumes of metal, taking advantage of bumper margins. Beijing's infrastructure spending has boosted optimism about demand for construction-grade steel.

In June, prices had their best month since 2009.

Refined copper production was up 12 percent from the same time last year to 768,000 tonnes, its highest in 18 months.