10:00 | 03.11.2017
CRU: The Next Wave of Australian Pellet Feed

LONDON, November 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The structural changes taking place in the Chinese steel industry will lead to increased demand for higher-quality iron ore. This will create opportunities for companies looking to export pellet feed. (Logo: ) Proximity to China means that Australian projects have the potential to be the main beneficiaries of this change and there are several mines at various stages of development in the country. However, a poor track record of project implementation in the country may leave investors wary. China’s push for productivity In CRU’s Iron Ore Long Term Market Outlook, released in September, a key theme that emerges is how the Chinese steel industry of tomorrow is likely to differ from that seen on the ground today. Broadly speaking, our analysis suggests that the Chinese steel industry will produce more of its hot metal requirement from a smaller number of larger blast furnaces – and these furnaces will be operated at higher capacity utilisations. The steel industry in China is changing from a situation of overcapacity, categorised by low profitability and high debt levels, to one where profit levels are structurally higher. Please see this insight for more information on this. As a result of this transition, CRU expects the average blast furnace burden in China to change, as companies seek greater productivity from their installed capacity. In 2016, our analysis suggests that sinter comprised 78% of the typical blast furnace burden, with pellets comprising 10%. However, in 2030, we expect sinter and pellets to comprise 67% and 18%, respectively. For two reasons, these projected burden changes are expected to result in a surge in demand for pellet feed imports into China. First, there is extensive pelletising capacity in China that was operating at an estimated average capacity utilisation rate of 45% in 2016. Second, CRU’s research indicates that China will not be able to expand production of domestic concentrate. Although a greater proportion of domestic concentrate will be diverted to produce pellets in the future, the majority of domestic material will continue be consumed in the production of sinter until at least 2035. Imports of finished pellets are also not expected to materially increase, given China’s expected desire to utilise its own industry to add value and the lack of additional pellet that could be diverted into the Chinese market. Read the full story: Read more about CRU: About CRU CRU offers unrivalled business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries through market analysis, price assessments, consultancy and events. Since our foundation in 1969, we have consistently invested in primary research and robust methodologies, and developed expert teams in key locations worldwide, including in hard-to-reach markets such as China. CRU employs over 250 experts and has more than 10 offices around the world, in Europe, the Americas, China, Asia and Australia – our office in Beijing opened in 2004. When facing critical business decisions, you can rely on this first-hand knowledge to give you a complete view on a commodity market. And you can engage with our experts directly, for the full picture and a personalised response. CRU – big enough to deliver a high quality service, small enough to care about all of our customers.



CONTACT: Media Contact: Lemar Montellano, +44-207-903-2070,; Colin Mills, +44-207-903-2235,


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