bhp billiton port hedland western australia bulk carrier

Western Australia Iron Ore is one of the world’s premier suppliers of iron ore. Image (c) BHP Billiton

reuters_logo1SYDNEY, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Iron ore exports to China from Australia’s Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the global seaborne market for the steel-making raw material, rose strongly in August in a sign of resilient resource demand from the Asian giant.

Ore shipments to China were 22.3 million tonnes in August, up 9 percent from 20.4 million tonnes in July, data released by the Port Hedland Port Authority showed. That was a hefty 33 percent higher than in August last year.

Iron ore is Australia’s single biggest export earner, bringing in around A$60 billion ($54.9 billion) in a good year. The strength of shipments increases the chance that Australia will report a trade surplus for August, and also adds to economic growth.

Overall iron ore exports from the port were 27.4 million tonnes, up 3 percent from 26.6 million tonnes in July. Year-on-year, total shipments were up 20 percent.

Shipments to Japan eased to 2.2 million tonnes, from 2.8 million in July. Shipments to South Korea increased to 2.1 million tonnes, from 1.9 million.

Port Hedland is used by BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Atlas Iron to ship iron ore cargoes, which are expected to exceed 200 million tonnes this year.

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