Shipments of the key steelmaking ingredient iron ore from Australia's Port Hedland toChina dropped in June by as much as 7.6 percent from a month ago, port authority data showed.
Iron ore shipments to China fell from 17.42 million tonnes in May to 16.09 million tonnes. Overall, iron shipments in June from Port Hedland reached 21.51 million tonnes compared against May's 22.5 million tonnes and April's 20.7 million tonnes.
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, believed the global supply and demand for steel, which zoomed in recent years thanks to China's huge appetite, has reached its zenith. Although demand for iron ore will continue to grow, its growth however will be much slower compared in previous years. As such, the high prices that iron ore recorded in 2011 may not likely happen again.
But despite the dismal figures, Port Hedland continued to remain the world's biggest bulk export port as it delivered record shipping numbers of iron ore from the Pilbara port.
The port authority data showed Port Hedland handled a record 247 million tonnes of products in 2011-12, a 23 per cent uptick from a year ago.
Among the Port Hedland's biggest users include BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.
And with additional expansions in the pipeline for Port Hedland, it is expected the port will continue to post similar increases in the coming years, Roger Johnson, Port Hedland Port Authority chief executive said, noting continued demand for commodities will push this forecast to reality.
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