Iron Ore Imports by Country

Iron Ore Imports by Country

Iron nuts and bolts

Global purchases of imported iron ore in 2017 totaled US115.5 billion.

Overall, the value of iron ore imports for all importing countries fell by an average -30% since 2013 when iron ore purchases were valued at $165 billion. Year over year, the value of iron ore imports advanced by 34.4% from 2016 to 2017.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries consumed the highest dollar worth of iron ore imported from foreign markets with purchases valued at $99.2 billion or 85.9% of the worldwide total. In second place were importers in Europe at 11.3% while 1.2% of the global total were delivered to customers in North America. Just 0.9% of iron ore shipments arrived in Africa and 0.6% in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 2601 for iron ores and concentrates including roasted iron pyrites.

Iron Ore Imports by Country

Top 15

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2017:

  1. China: US$76.2 billion (66% of imported iron ore)
  2. Japan: $9.7 billion (8.4%)
  3. South Korea: $5.5 billion (4.7%)
  4. Germany: $3.4 billion (3%)
  5. Netherlands: $2.4 billion (2.1%)
  6. Taiwan: $1.8 billion (1.6%)
  7. France: $1.3 billion (1.1%)
  8. Turkey: $1 billion (0.9%)
  9. Indonesia: $881.7 million (0.8%)
  10. Egypt: $857.9 million (0.7%)
  11. Saudi Arabia: $849.3 million (0.7%)
  12. United Kingdom: $786.9 million (0.7%)
  13. Malaysia: $756.5 million (0.7%)
  14. United States: $695.4 million (0.6%)
  15. Belgium: $693.9 million (0.6%)

The listed 15 countries purchased 92.5% of all iron ore imports in 2017.

Among the above top importers, four countries increased their purchases of iron ore since 2013: Indonesia (up 186.5%), Malaysia (up 119.3%), United States (up 51.4%) and Egypt (up 26.2%).

The fastest-declining iron ore importers since 2013 were led by: United Kingdom (down -55.6%), Japan (down -44.5%), Taiwan (down -37%), Netherlands (down -36.3%) and Germany (down -35.1%).

China

Iron Ore Imports into China

Below are the top 15 suppliers from which China imported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2017. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country.

  1. Australia: US$46.3 billion (down -16.1% from 2013)
  2. Brazil: $17.4 billion (down -19.7%)
  3. South Africa: $3.5 billion (down -41.8%)
  4. India: $1.7 billion (up 19.1%)
  5. Iran: $1.4 billion (down -41.9%)
  6. Ukraine: $963.1 million (down -58.7%)
  7. Peru: $828.6 million (down -37%)
  8. Chile: $815.3 million (down -40%)
  9. Canada: $563.2 million (down -73.5%)
  10. Mauritania: $479.6 million (down -58.8%)
  11. Russia: $384.1 million (down -72.9%)
  12. Venezuela: $311.9 million (down -39.4%)
  13. Mongolia: $273.4 million (down -56%)
  14. Sierra Leone: $260.8 million (down -81.2%)
  15. Vietnam: $178.7 million (down -53.2%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 98.9% of all Chinese iron ore imports in 2017.

The sole country that upped the value of its iron ore supplies to Chinese importers from 2013 to 2017 was India, via a 19.1% uptick.

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplied to Chinese importers included: Sierra Leone (down -81.2%), Canada (down -73.5%), Russia (down -72.9%) and Mauritania (down -58.8%).

Overall, the value of Chinese iron ore imports fell by an average -28.3% from all supplying countries since 2013 when iron ore purchases were valued at $106.2 billion.

Japan

Iron Ore Imports into Japan

Below are the top 15 suppliers from which Japan imported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2017. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country.

  1. Australia: US$5 billion (down -50.9% from 2013)
  2. Brazil: $2.8 billion (down -44.5%)
  3. Canada: $642.4 million (up 131.2%)
  4. South Africa: $326.2 million (down -70.2%)
  5. United States: $231.9 million (up 1,880%)
  6. India: $209.9 million (down -20.2%)
  7. Chile: $185.2 million (up 51.7%)
  8. Ukraine: $105.7 million (down -4.2%)
  9. Peru: $45.7 million (up 107%)
  10. Mauritania: $36.2 million (up 231.1%)
  11. Russia: $36.2 million (down -83.2%)
  12. China: $13 million (up 24037%)
  13. New Zealand: $6.6 million (down -67.4%)
  14. South Korea: $954,000 (down -44.7%)
  15. Netherlands: $16,000 (no 2013 data)

The listed 15 countries shipped close to 100% of all Japanese iron ore imports in 2017.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of iron ore to Japan since 2013 were: China (up 24,037%), United States (up 1,880%), Mauritania (up 231.1%) and Canada (up 131.2%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplied to Japanese importers included: Russia (down -83.2%), South Africa (down -70.2%), New Zealand (down -67.4%) and Australia (down -50.9%).

Overall, the value of Japanese iron ore imports were down by an average -44.5% from all supplying countries since 2013 when iron ore purchases were valued at $17.4 billion.

South Korea

Iron Ore Imports into South Korea

Below are the top 15 suppliers from which South Korea imported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2017. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country.

  1. Australia: US$3.5 billion (down -40.5% from 2013)
  2. Brazil: $957.2 million (down -47.6%)
  3. South Africa: $415.4 million (up 7.5%)
  4. Canada: $253.1 million (up 255.7%)
  5. Ukraine: $95.4 million (up 326.8%)
  6. India: $84.8 million (up 67.2%)
  7. Chile: $80 million (up 30.2%)
  8. Finland: $10.1 million (up 158.3%)
  9. Venezuela: $4.7 million (no 2013 data)
  10. China: $63,000 (down -64.2%)
  11. Netherlands: $29,000 (up 61.1%)
  12. Germany: $17,000 (no 2013 data)
  13. Sweden: $5,000 (down -16.7%)
  14. United States: $5,000 (up 66.7%)
  15. Russia: $1,000 (no 2013 data)

The listed 15 countries shipped virtually 100% of all South Korean iron ore imports in 2017.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of iron ore to South Korea since 2013 were: Ukraine (up 326.8%), Canada (up 255.7%), Finland (up 158.3%) and India (up 67.2%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplied to South Korean importers included: China (down -64.2%), Brazil (down -47.6%), Australia (down -40.5%) and Sweden (down -16.7%).

Overall, the value of South Korean iron ore imports fell by an average -34.6% from all supplying countries since 2013 when iron ore purchases were valued at $8.3 billion.

Germany

Iron Ore Imports into Germany

Below are the top 15 suppliers from which Germany imported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2017. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country.

  1. Brazil: US$1.5 billion (down -49.6% from 2013)
  2. Canada: $641.9 million (down -27.7%)
  3. Sweden: $465.2 million (down -37.8%)
  4. South Africa: $379.2 million (up 30.3%)
  5. Russia: $131.8 million (up 611%)
  6. Ukraine: $122.6 million (up 27.4%)
  7. Mauritania: $109.8 million (down -17.8%)
  8. Australia: $23.6 million (up 6%)
  9. Liberia: $16.8 million (down -51.8%)
  10. Norway: $4.4 million (down -70.2%)
  11. China: $3.7 million (up 11172.7%)
  12. Venezuela: $2.4 million (down -22.4%)
  13. Finland: $2.1 million (down -35.1%)
  14. United States: $2 million (down -3%)
  15. Trinidad/Tobago: $1.4 million (up 23.9%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.9% of all German iron ore imports in 2017.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of iron ore to Germany since 2013 were: China (up 11,173%), Russia (up 611%), South Africa (up 30.3%) and Ukraine (up 27.4%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplied to Indian importers included: Norway (down -70.2%), Liberia (down -51.8%), Brazil (down -49.6%) and Sweden (down -37.8%).

Overall, the value of Indian iron ore imports fell by an average -35.1% from all supplying countries since 2013 when iron ore purchases were valued at $5.3 billion.



 

Searchable List of Iron Ore Importing Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankImporter2017 Iron Ore Imports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$76.2 billion66%
2.Japan$9.7 billion8.4%
3.South Korea$5.5 billion4.7%
4.Germany$3.4 billion3%
5.Netherlands$2.4 billion2.1%
6.Taiwan$1.8 billion1.6%
7.France$1.3 billion1.1%
8.Turkey$1 billion0.9%
9.Indonesia$881.7 million0.8%
10.Egypt$857.9 million0.7%
11.Saudi Arabia$849.3 million0.7%
12.United Kingdom$786.9 million0.7%
13.Malaysia$756.5 million0.7%
14.United States$695.4 million0.6%
15.Belgium$693.9 million0.6%
16.Italy$667.4 million0.6%
17.Oman$619.6 million0.5%
18.Poland$580.5 million0.5%
19.Canada$564.8 million0.5%
20.Spain$554.8 million0.5%
21.Russia$532.4 million0.5%
22.Slovakia$519.2 million0.4%
23.Czech Republic$482.7 million0.4%
24.Argentina$475.3 million0.4%
25.United Arab Emirates$397 million0.3%
26.India$386.3 million0.3%
27.Philippines$358.6 million0.3%
28.Bahrain$335.4 million0.3%
29.Finland$297.4 million0.3%
30.Qatar$270 million0.2%
31.Trinidad/Tobago$255.9 million0.2%
32.Serbia$235.0 million0.2%
33.Romania$229.5 million0.2%
34.Vietnam$205.6 million0.2%
35.Hungary$187.6 million0.2%
36.Mexico$178.5 million0.2%
37.Libya$85.6 million0.1%
38.South Africa$56.3 million0.05%
39.Kazakhstan$35 million0.03%
40.Ukraine$29.4 million0.03%
41.Australia$19.8 million0.02%
42.Sweden$17.2 million0.01%
43.Norway$11.4 million0.01%
44.Mozambique$11.1 million0.01%
45.Chile$7 million0.01%
46.Paraguay$6.1 million0.01%
47.Iran$4.8 million0.004%
48.North Korea$4.6 million0.004%
49.Denmark$4 million0.003%
50.Kenya$2.3 million0.002%
51.Iceland$2.2 million0.002%
52.Belarus$1.9 million0.002%
53.Nepal$1.6 million0.001%
54.Switzerland$1.5 million0.001%
55.Austria$1.4 million0.001%
56.Iraq$1.2 million0.001%
57.Jordan$1 million0.001%
58.Bulgaria$1 million0.001%
59.Singapore$873,0000.001%
60.Thailand$858,0000.001%
61.Algeria$856,0000.001%
62.Kyrgyzstan$810,0000.001%
63.Israel$736,0000.001%
64.Ireland$678,0000.001%
65.Angola$567,0000.0005%
66.Yemen$546,0000.0005%
67.Armenia$515,0000.0004%
68.Lithuania$501,0000.0004%
69.Colombia$437,0000.0004%
70.Portugal$388,0000.0003%
71.Uzbekistan$308,0000.0003%
72.Georgia$298,0000.0003%
73.Moldova$216,0000.0002%
74.Zimbabwe$212,0000.0002%
75.Slovenia$210,0000.0002%
76.Syria$208,0000.0002%
77.Turkmenistan$159,0000.0001%
78.Tajikistan$86,0000.0001%
79.New Zealand$80,0000.0001%
80.Croatia$75,0000.0001%
81.Barbados$72,0000.0001%
82.Bosnia/Herzegovina$69,0000.0001%
83.Democ. Rep. Congo$67,0000.0001%
84.Kuwait$52,0000.00005%
85.Greece$50,0000.00004%
86.Morocco$46,0000.00004%
87.Cyprus$40,0000.00003%
88.Peru$39,0000.00003%
89.Pakistan$26,0000.00002%
90.El Salvador$26,0000.00002%
91.Estonia$25,0000.00002%
92.Tanzania$25,0000.00002%
93.Cuba$22,0000.00002%
94.Botswana$18,0000.00002%
95.Venezuela$18,0000.00002%
96.Bahamas$17,0000.00001%
97.Honduras$15,0000.00001%
98.Panama$14,0000.00001%
99.Latvia$11,0000.00001%
100.Lebanon$11,0000.00001%
101.Bolivia$10,0000.00001%
102.New Caledonia$10,0000.00001%
103.Luxembourg$8,0000.00001%
104.Macedonia$4,0000.000003%
105.Sudan$4,0000.000003%
106.Brazil$4,0000.000003%
107.Uruguay$4,0000.000003%
108.Azerbaijan$3,0000.000003%
109.Lesotho$3,0000.000003%
110.Swaziland$3,0000.000003%
111.Madagascar$3,0000.000003%
112.Ethiopia$2,0000.000002%
113.Zambia$2,0000.000002%
114.Eritrea$1,0000.000001%
115.Namibia$1,0000.000001%


See also Iron Ore Exports by Country, China’s Top Trading Partners and Highest Value Japanese Import Products

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 24, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 24, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on May 24, 2018