Pilbara Ports Authority retains strong iron ore exports

Port Hedland

Western Australia’s Pilbara Ports Authority has maintained strong iron ore shipments from Port Hedland during April as prices have surged.

Port Hedland delivered 45.8 million tonnes of output last month with 45.1 million tonnes of iron ore exports.

According to Pilbara Ports Authority, this was the same output reported in March 2020.

Port Dampier, which exports iron ore from Rio Tinto Mines, delivered 13.8 million tonnes during the April quarter.

This was nine per cent lower than March 2020.

Iron ore has continued to break records in 2021.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported iron ore accounted for 39 per cent of Australia’s March exports at a record $14 billion.

ABS Head of International Statistics Sean Crick said iron ore is the foundation of Australia’s export strength, accounting for 39 per cent of all March exports.

On 14 May, Fastmarkets MB reported iron ore fines dropped 62 per cent to $US208.79 ($268.85) per tonne from its $US230.56 per tonne record on 10 May.

According to Reuters, regulators in Shanghai and Tangshan have warned local steel companies against price gouging and false market information following the surge in prices.

Banking group UBS said tension between Australia and China will reduce Chinese investment in Australia’s natural resources.

“Near-term, we do not expect the bilateral tension to have a major impact on the iron ore trade as there is no immediate source of iron ore units to replace Australia,” UBS said.

“Medium-term, we expect China to invest less in Australian natural resource projects and to accelerate its objective to reduce dependence on non-captive imported iron ore.”

UBS anticipates that China will eventually move from pig iron to scrap based steel production.

Sixty-one per cent of China’s iron ore was imported from Australia in 2020, UBS found.


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