Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that he is confident that the signals detected lately were from the black box recorders of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

"We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH370. I really don't want to say any more than that, because I want to get the most up to date briefing between now and my meeting with President later today. And as a sign of respect to China and its people, and in particular the 154 Chinese victims and their families, I would like to save any more detail for the briefing with President Xi later today.

"We are now getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade, and we are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires."

Abott was speaking ahead of meeting China's president Xi Jinping in Beijing.