Inventories of iron ore at 25 of China's major sea ports fell to 93.02 million tonnes in the week ending Oct. 24, according to the Xinhua-China Iron Ore Price Index released on Tuesday.
The stock of imported iron ore last week was 50,000 tonnes lower than one week earlier, down 0.05 percent week-on-week, according to the index compiled by Xinhua News Agency to track iron ore inventories and imports on Chinese spot markets.
Prices of imported iron ore dropped last week. The price index for 63.5-percent-purity iron ore imports fell by 19 points to hit 148 points, while that for 58-percent-purity iron ore imports slid by 29 points to reach 109 points.
Xinhua analysts said import prices of iron ore have been on the downswing and market expectations of lower prices have strengthened.
Chinese steel companies tend to increase purchases of iron ore ahead of September and October, the traditional peak months for iron ore use.
China imported 42.54 million tonnes of iron ore during the first eight months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 10.5 percent, and 29.99 million tonnes more than the country's actual demand, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
As most steel companies are fully stocked, they will slow purchases of the key industrial ingredients over the rest of the year, analysts said.
Global demand for iron ore will shrink in the short-term as the Chinese government intensifies its efforts to consolidate its steel industry to reduce overcapacity, and the United States and European countries remain mired in weak economic growth.
That will remove key supports from iron ore prices and put pressure on suppliers to lower prices, Xinhua analysts said.