Iron ore exports sink in January: ABS

Port Hedland

Port Hedland

Australia’s iron ore exports have declined following port shutdowns in Port Hedland due to cyclone concerns, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Metalliferous ore exports declined by 10 per cent in January to $14.18 billion, which ABS Head of International Statistics Andrew Tomandini said was driven by a drop in iron ore exports.

Iron ore exports dropped by $963 million, or 7 per cent, last month due to a 13 per cent (or 10.4 million tonnes) decrease in quantity.

“Despite the decline, exports of metalliferous ores are the second highest on record behind December 2020,” Tomandini said.

Metalliferous ore exports were up by $2.75 billion in December 2020.

In January, coal exports also declined to $3.4 billion, representing an 8 per cent fall, while non-monetary gold exports dropped by 7 per cent to $2.45 billion.

Metalliferous ore exports to China dropped by $509 million, which was driven by a 5 per cent decline in iron ore exports to $9.66 billion.

Last month, Western Australia’s Port of Port Hedland cleared large vessels due to Cyclone Lucas.

The ABS noted the iron ore price had continued to show resilience, increasing by 7 per cent per tonne in January due to strong Chinese demand and weaker output from Brazil.

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