Stockpiles of iron ore at 25 major Chinese ports continued to drop during the week ending on Feb. 4, marking the fourth week of declines, according to the latest iron ore price report released by the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.
Inventories of imported iron ore at the ports stood at 75.94 million tonnes, down 3 million tonnes, or 3.8 percent, from the previous week, the report said.
Inventories dropped due to foggy weather in north China and hurricanes in Australia that affected iron ore shipments, the report said.
The weather, combined with some traders leaving their work early ahead of the Spring Festival holiday, have pushed up import prices for iron ore, it said.
The price index for 63.5-percent-grade iron ore imports rose 2 points to reach 150 points week on week, while the index for 58-percent-grade imports gained 2 points to reach 132 points.
Given the short supply and upbeat market expectations, imported prices for iron ore may see mild increases after the seven-day Spring Festival, which will end on Feb. 15, the report said.
China, the world's top iron ore consumer and buyer, imported 740 million tonnes of the raw material in 2012, up 8.4 percent year on year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.