Port Hedland iron ore exports on the rise

Iron ore exports from Port Hedland rose 4% in April, as shipments to Taiwan more than double.

In total, more than 26.0 million metric tonnes of iron ore was shipping during April, up from 24.9 million tonnes in March, Port Hedland Port Authority said.

Exports to China rose 1% during April to 19.3 million tonnes, while Tawain doubled its demand and shipments to South Korea also rose, Fox Business reported.

Major miners like BHP, Fortescue, and Atlas use Port Hedland to export their products, making it one of the world’s largest iron-ore terminals.

In late April, the port recorded its largest iron ore shipment with 255,816 tonnes headed for China.

Last month, Fortescue Metals chief New Power predicted iron ore prices would trade at between $120 to $130 a tonne for some time to come.

"While there is some potential for a correction in steel production, it would only be minor and supply/demand balance is there in iron ore so there aren't the same factors that would create any significant drop in the iron ore price," he said.

Spot price fell to lows of around $90 in the second half of 2012, but the market has taken back almost all of the lost ground.

A resurgence of iron ore prices has restrengthened projects in Western Australia, sending miners back to work on major projects.

Fortescue has celebrated the official opening of its Firetail iron ore mine at its Solomon Hub.

The opening of Firetail, which is located around 60 kilometres north of Tom Price, is the first stage of the wider US$3.2 billion development, and is the third new mine for Fortescue in five years.

While Rio Tinto will expand its iron ore operations in the Pilbara with a $3 billion dollar investment set to create over 2000 jobs in the region.

WPG chief Martin Jacobsen said he doesn’t expect Chinese growth to drop below 7.5 per cent per annum for the next 15 years, Business Spectator reported.

Jacobsen said India’s restrictions on iron ore exports coupled with Chinese demand will see 62 per cent grade iron ore prices to be $US110 a tonne ore and “maybe drop off lower than that in the longer term.”

Image: phpa.com.au