Iron Ore Imports by Country

Iron Ore Imports by Country

Iron nuts and bolts

Global purchases of imported iron ore in 2016 totaled US$84.2 billion.

Overall, the value of iron ore imports for all importing countries was down by an average -46.7% since 2012 when iron ore purchases were valued at $158 billion. Year over year, the value of iron ore imports retreated by -7.8% from 2015 to 2016.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries consumed the highest dollar worth of imported iron ore during 2016 with purchases valued at $73.5 billion or 87.2% of the global total. In second place were importers in Europe at 10.6% while 1.2% of worldwide iron ore imports were delivered to North America. Just 0.4% of worldwideimports arrived in Africa.

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 2016:

  1. China: US$57.1 billion (67.8% of total iron ore imports)
  2. Japan: $7.3 billion (8.7%)
  3. South Korea: $4 billion (4.8%)
  4. Germany: $2.4 billion (2.9%)
  5. Netherlands: $1.8 billion (2.1%)
  6. Taiwan: $1.3 billion (1.6%)
  7. France: $765.6 million (0.9%)
  8. Malaysia: $756.1 million (0.9%)
  9. Turkey: $697.7 million (0.8%)
  10. United Kingdom: $572 million (0.7%)
  11. Saudi Arabia: $558.3 million (0.7%)
  12. Italy: $513.1 million (0.6%)
  13. Canada: $470.4 million (0.6%)
  14. Belgium: $444.1 million (0.5%)
  15. Russia: $382.6 million (0.5%)

The listed 15 countries purchased 94% of all iron ore imports in 2016. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplier since 2012.

Among the above countries, the fastest-declining iron ore importers since 2012 were: Italy (down -71.7%), Japan (down -61.6%), Saudi Arabia (down -61.2%) and South Korea (down -57.5%).

Only one top country posted an increase in its imported iron ore purchases, namely Malaysia via its 27.8% gain.

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 2016. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2012.

  1. Australia: $35.1 billion (down -21.9%)
  2. Brazil: $12.5 billion (down -44.6%)
  3. South Africa: $2.8 billion (down -50.1%)
  4. Ukraine: $944.3 million (down -60.4%)
  5. India: $849.3 million (down -76.9%)
  6. Iran: $819.8 million (down -54.9%)
  7. Chile: $714.1 million (down -45.1%)
  8. Canada: $578.9 million (down -75.9%)
  9. Peru: $575.4 million (down -52%)
  10. Mauritania: $475.8 million (down -42.9%)
  11. Russia: $339.4 million (down -80.9%)
  12. Venezuela: $308 million (down -52.4%)
  13. Mongolia: $201.7 million (down -67.1%)
  14. Sierra Leone: $168.5 million (down -63.6%)
  15. New Zealand: $121.3 million (up 22.6%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99% of all Chinese iron ore imports in 2016.

Among the above countries, the fastest-declining suppliers of iron ore to China since 2012 were: Russia (down -80.9%), India (down -76.9%), Canada (down -75.9%) and Mongolia (down -67.1%).

The sole country that upped the value of its iron ore supplies to Chinese importers from 2015 to 2016 was Australia (up 22.6%).

Overall, the value of Chinese iron ore imports were down by an average -40.3% from all supplying countries since 2012 when iron ore purchases were valued at $95.6 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 2016. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2012.

  1. Australia: $4 billion (down -63%)
  2. Brazil: $2.2 billion (down -64.8%)
  3. Canada: $352.9 million (up 81.4%)
  4. South Africa: $298.4 million (down -69.4%)
  5. Chile: $182.5 million (down -30.9%)
  6. India: $116.6 million (down -68.7%)
  7. Ukraine: $106.5 million (up 95.8%)
  8. Russia: $36.3 million (down -74.8%)
  9. Peru: $31.3 million (down -12.2%)
  10. Mauritania: $10.9 million (no change)
  11. Venezuela: $10.3 million (up 49.4%)
  12. New Zealand: $4.7 million (down -64.4%)
  13. South Korea: $2 million (down -22.8%)
  14. China: $49,000 (down -54.2%)
  15. Germany: $13,000 (no change)

The listed 15 countries shipped close to 100% of all Japanese iron ore imports in 2016.

Three of the above iron ore suppliers upped the value of their iron ore shipments to Japan since 2012: Ukraine (up 95.8%), Canada (up 81.4%) and Venezuela (up 49.4%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplies to Japanese importers included: Russia (down -74.8%), South Africa (down -69.4%), India (down -68.7%) and Brazil (down -64.8%).

Overall, the value of Japanese iron ore imports were down by an average -61.6% from all supplying countries since 2012 when iron ore purchases were valued at $19.1 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 2016. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2012.

  1. Australia: $2.8 billion (down -55.2%)
  2. Brazil: $662.7 million (down -75.4%)
  3. South Africa: $237.4 million (down -41.5%)
  4. Canada: $123.6 million (up 236.7%)
  5. Chile: $84.2 million (up 152.4%)
  6. Ukraine: $52.7 million (up 414.1%)
  7. India: $29.8 million (down -54.9%)
  8. United Arab Emirates: $13.3 million (no change)
  9. Russia: $11.7 million (up 43.9%)
  10. China: $167,000 (down -97.5%)
  11. Peru: $29,000 (up 141.7%)
  12. United States of America: $15,000 (up 1,400%)
  13. Netherlands: $8,000 (down -11.1%)
  14. Sweden: $3,000 (down -50%)
  15. Philippines: $1,000 (down -99.4%)

The listed 15 countries shipped almost 100% of all South Korean iron ore imports in 2016.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing suppliers of iron ore to South Korea since 2012 were: United States of America (up 1,400%), Ukraine (up 414.1%), Canada (up 236.7%) and Chile (up 152.4%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplies to South Korean importers included: Philippines (down -99.4%), China (down -97.5%), Brazil (down -75.4%) and Australia (down -55.2%).

Overall, the value of South Korean iron ore imports were down by an average -57.5% from all supplying countries since 2012 when iron ore purchases were valued at $9.5 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 2016. Within parenthesis is the percentage change in value for each supplying country since 2012.

  1. Brazil: $1.2 billion (down -62.6%)
  2. Canada: $415.6 million (down -41%)
  3. Sweden: $372.7 million (down -49.6%)
  4. South Africa: $174 million (down -51.9%)
  5. Ukraine: $110.3 million (up 266.4%)
  6. Russia: $69.2 million (up 2,794%)
  7. Mauritania: $48.4 million (down -72.6%)
  8. Liberia: $20.9 million (up 6,281%)
  9. Norway: $17.8 million (down -41.5%)
  10. Australia: $5 million (down -94.8%)
  11. Trinidad/Tobago: $3.4 million (down -20.9%)
  12. Argentina: $3.3 million (down -93.1%)
  13. Venezuela: $2.6 million (up 292.4%)
  14. Finland: $1.8 million (down -3.7%)
  15. Netherlands: $1.3 million (up 12.4%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.9% of all German iron ore imports in 2016.

Five of the above countries boosted that value of their iron ore shipments to Germany since 2012: Liberia (up 6,281%), Russia (up 2,794%), Venezuela (up 292.4%), Ukraine (up 266.4%) and the Netherlands (up 12.4%).

Countries that experienced declines in the value of their iron ore supplies to German importers included: Australia (down -94.8%), Argentina (down -93.1%), Mauritania (down -72.6%) and Brazil (down -62.6%).

Overall, the value of German iron ore imports were down by an average -54.9% from all supplying countries since 2012 when iron ore purchases were valued at $5.4 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.

RankImporter2016 Iron Ore Imports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$57.1 billion67.8%
2.Japan$7.3 billion8.7%
3.South Korea$4 billion4.8%
4.Germany$2.4 billion2.9%
5.Netherlands$1.8 billion2.1%
6.Taiwan$1.3 billion1.6%
7.France$765.6 million0.9%
8.Malaysia$756.1 million0.9%
9.Turkey$697.7 million0.8%
10.United Kingdom$572 million0.7%
11.Saudi Arabia$558.3 million0.7%
12.Italy$513.1 million0.6%
13.Canada$470.4 million0.6%
14.Belgium$444.1 million0.5%
15.Russia$382.6 million0.5%
16.Czech Republic$380 million0.5%
17.Poland$342.6 million0.4%
18.Oman$337.7 million0.4%
19.Slovakia$335.1 million0.4%
20.Spain$326.7 million0.4%
21.Argentina$316.3 million0.4%
22.United States$276.2 million0.3%
23.Indonesia$260.6 million0.3%
24.Finland$252.1 million0.3%
25.Mexico$235.6 million0.3%
26.Egypt$228.5 million0.3%
27.India$228.4 million0.3%
28.Bahrain$216.2 million0.3%
29.Philippines$199.1 million0.2%
30.United Arab Emirates$190.4 million0.2%
31.Romania$151 million0.2%
32.Serbia$144.8 million0.2%
33.Trinidad/Tobago$129.9 million0.2%
34.Qatar$121.3 million0.1%
35.Vietnam$86 million0.1%
36.Hungary$67.8 million0.1%
37.Ukraine$55.6 million0.1%
38.Libya$53.6 million0.1%
39.South Africa$36.2 million0.04%
40.Australia$36 million0.04%
41.Sweden$13.6 million0.02%
42.Mozambique$13.2 million0.02%
43.Norway$6.6 million0.01%
44.Paraguay$6.5 million0.01%
45.Denmark$5.9 million0.01%
46.Iran$4.3 million0.01%
47.Belarus$2.3 million0.003%
48.Jordan$1.8 million0.002%
49.Kenya$1.8 million0.002%
50.Switzerland$1.4 million0.002%
51.Yemen$1.2 million0.001%
52.Georgia$851,0000.001%
53.Kyrgyzstan$825,0000.001%
54.Free Zones$763,0000.001%
55.Ireland$662,0000.001%
56.Colombia$531,0000.001%
57.Algeria$513,0000.001%
58.Iceland$503,0000.001%
59.Lithuania$473,0000.001%
60.Bulgaria$471,0000.001%
61.Angola$446,0000.001%
62.Singapore$407,0000.0005%
63.Latvia$379,0000.0004%
64.Thailand$373,0000.0004%
65.Mauritius$276,0000.0003%
66.Slovenia$236,0000.0003%
67.Armenia$215,0000.0003%
68.Portugal$179,0000.0002%
69.Nepal$174,0000.0002%
70.Estonia$159,0000.0002%
71.Barbados$132,0000.0002%
72.Israel$116,0000.0001%
73.Tajikistan$101,0000.0001%
74.Croatia$98,0000.0001%
75.New Zealand$89,0000.0001%
76.Cyprus$75,0000.0001%
77.Turkmenistan$73,0000.0001%
78.Chile$64,0000.0001%
79.Panama$55,0000.0001%
80.Moldova$49,0000.0001%
81.Bolivia$47,0000.0001%
82.Kazakhstan$46,0000.0001%
83.Cuba$40,0000.00005%
84.Greece$33,0000.00004%
85.Peru$33,0000.00004%
86.Bosnia/Herzegovina$31,0000.00004%
87.Morocco$29,0000.00003%
88.Kuwait$26,0000.00003%
89.Botswana$24,0000.00003%
90.Lebanon$22,0000.00003%
91.El Salvador$21,0000.00002%
92.Democratic Rep. Congo$12,0000.00001%
93.Luxembourg$12,0000.00001%
94.Brazil$10,0000.00001%
95.Tunisia$7,0000.00001%
96.Zimbabwe$5,0000.00001%
97.Dominican Republic$5,0000.00001%
98.Ethiopia$4,0000.000005%
99.Zambia$3,0000.000004%
100.Hong Kong$2,0000.000002%
101.Costa Rica$2,0000.000002%
102.Swaziland$2,0000.000002%
103.Lesotho$1,0000.000001%
104.Tanzania$1,0000.000001%


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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 29, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 29, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on May 29, 2017