Article – Port Hedland iron ore exports up 30%

by 11 February 2015

4 February 2015
Vicky Validakis
Australian Mining

The extra tonnages of iron ore the major miners are exporting is highlighted in official figures released by the Pilbara Port Authority.

In January, iron ore exports for the month totalled 36.7Mt, an increase of 8.5Mt or 30 per cent from the same month in 2014.

The results come as no surprise, with major miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group all adding extra tonnages and reporting record shipping rates.

It is this ramp up that is being blamed for the fall in price of iron ore, with more supply on the market than it can absorb.

The price of the commodity crashed to five-year lows last week of $US63 a tonne.

But the surge of new supply is not set to end any time soon.

Fortescue Metals Group shipped 41.1 million tonnes of iron ore in the December quarter, a 47 per cent increase on the prior comparable period.

BHP revealed it produced 113 million tonnes of iron ore in the half year, with its Western Australia Iron Ore production increasing by 15 per cent.

The miner revealed WAIO also achieved record sales volumes of 126 Mt due to the company’s strategy of increasing the percentage of direct to ship ore which has unlocked further port capacity.

Meanwhile, Rio set a new annual record in 2014, producing 295.4 million tonnes of iron ore. The company shipped 302.6 million tonnes of ore, a 17 per cent increase on sales from the previous year.

These multi-billion expansions, coupled with declining demand out of China, has led many analysts to cut their iron ore price predictions for the rest of 2015.

Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) said that while Australia will export a record 747 million tonnes of iron ore in 2014-15, its export value will decrease 24 per cent to $57 billion.

BREE cut its iron ore price forecast for 2015 to $US63 a tonne.

Courtesy of Australian Mining

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