Pilbara Ports sets iron ore export record

February was a busy month for the Pilbara Ports Authority which exported record tonnages of iron ore and set two new records.

The port of Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 36.1Mt, an increase of 7.6Mt or 27 per cent from the same month in 2014.

Iron ore exports for the month totalled 35.6Mt, an increase of 7.8Mt or 28 per cent from the same month in 2014.

February also saw the port of Port Hedland achieve two new records on Saturday the 28th.

The port dispatched a record tonnage of 1,511,977 tonnes on a single tide on eight cape-size vessels.

The port also exported more than two million tonnes of iron ore within 24 hours on the morning and evening tide, which is only the second time this has been achieved.

A total of 2,065,259 tonnes was exported, beating the previous record set last April by more than 37,000 tonnes.

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 was last fetching $US62.10 a tonne after seeing losses in seven of the last eight trading sessions.

It is now just 1.6 per cent above the five year low it tumbled to in early February.

Last week,  BHP chief Andrew Mackenzie said calls to reduce iron ore production in the light of falling prices would only work to harm the Australian economy.

Mackenzie blasted recent suggestions that the company had employed a flawed strategy in its ramp up of iron ore production stating supply from a reliable miner created strong economic growth.

“I strongly believe that the world will be best served by a sustainable supply of commodities at a fair price, and that capital ­resources should be directed ­towards the most efficient sources of that production in a manner that the world gets them as cheaply as possible, in terms of cost, and with the greatest environmental performance and the smallest environmental footprint,” Mackenzie said.

“The only certain effect of ­stalling production will be to ­reduce Australian exports.”

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