China’s iron ore imports fell to their lowest level in five years in 2021 and look set for a further decline this year, the latest data shows.

The world’s largest importer of iron ore imported 982.3m tonnes last year, down 11.4% year-on-year and the lowest annual volumes since 2016, according to figures from Banchero Costa.

“Iron ore imports into China corrected significantly in 2021 from the record levels seen previously,” the broker said.