Distribution of the leading importing countries of iron ore 2019

This statistic shows the distribution of the top iron ore importing countries worldwide in 2019. In that year, China was the world's largest importer of iron ore by a large margin, having accounted for a 69 percent share of the total global iron ore imports based on value.

Key facts on iron ore mining

China accumulated a majority of the global iron ore imports in 2019, with a 69.1 percent share of total global imports. Japan followed behind distantly with a 7.5 percent share of iron ore imports. On the other hand, Australia exports the largest share of global iron ore. Australia currently holds the world’s largest iron ore reserves, totaling 23 billion metric tons in iron content and 48 billion metric tons in crude ore as of 2019. China’s large share of iron ore imports is due to its heavy consumption of the material. It has become one of the largest steel producers in the world.

Iron ore is based on its valuable metallic iron which can be extracted from rocks and minerals. A large majority, over 95 percent, of mined iron ore is used to make steel. It is commonly used for structural engineering applications, vehicles, and machinery. Brazilian company Vale is one of the largest producers in the world, generating 302 million metric tons in 2019.

Distribution of global iron ore imports in 2019, by major country*

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

only $59 / month *
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

May 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Based on value. The total global value of iron ore import purchases in 2019 amounted to 144.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Open this statistic in...
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account.

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 / Month *
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract; Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Iron ore"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.