Ships carrying 11.75 million tonnes of iron ore arrived at the main ports in China between March 15 and 21, or 1.65 million tonnes more than in the equivalent week last year, the Shanghai Metals Market website reports.

The website says demand among Chinese steelmakers is expected to keep driving shipments to China of Brazilian and Australian iron ore.

The report says 4.78 million tonnes of iron ore were shipped out of Brazilian ports last week, 1.27 million tonnes more than the week before, and that 17.39 million tonnes were shipped out of Australian ports, 1.63 million tonnes more.

The proportion of shipments of Australian iron ore that were bound for China grew again last week, the Shanghai Metals Market website says.