Port Hedland Iron Ore Exports to China Drop as Prices Sink

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November 4, 2015

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ReutersSYDNEY, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Iron ore shipments to China through Australia’s Port Hedland in October fell 9 percent to 30.73 million tonnes from a record 33.78 million in September as the price of the commodity deteriorated, port figures released on Wednesday showed.

The port, the world’s largest for exporting iron ore, is used by sector majors BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, along with smaller miners including Atlas Iron and BCI Ltd.

Total shipments of iron ore through the port in October amounted to 36.52 million tonnes, down 7 percent from 39.41 million in September, also a record, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority.

Japan, was the second-biggest destination for ore from the port, importing 2.47 million tonnes in October, followed by South Korea at 2.22 million.

The price of iron ore fell nearly 10 percent in October – the steepest October decline since 2011 when it tumbled 31 percent. It stood at $48.70 a tonne on Wednesday.

Iron ore stocked at China’s ports reached 84.75 million tonnes on Oct. 30, the highest since May, data tracked by consultancy SteelHome showed .

BHP expects to mine 247 million tonnes by next July, while Fortescue is running at an annual rate of around 165 million tonnes, making them the third and fourth highest producers worldwide after Vale and Rio Tinto . (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

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