Iron ore is one of Australia’s highest exported products to the global market. Exports have always been high due to the country’s ample iron ore reserves, and advanced iron ore mining industry, facilitated by the growing consumption of iron ore in the production of steel across developing countries. Australia has been well-acknowledged as the leader in the global iron ore market when it comes to iron ore production and exports. As the global demand for iron ore remains high, business opportunities in the Australian iron ore market are expected to flourish further in the near future.
Australian Iron Ore Industry Overview
Due to the fact that iron ore is used almost exclusively for steel making, but with no major steel production in Australia, the iron ore industry in Australia was established as an export-orientated sector with around 85–90% of iron ore production exported. Since 2010, Australia has overtaken Brazil and India to become the world’s largest world’s largest exporter of iron ore. It was also when iron ore surpassed metallurgical coal and become Australia’s most valuable exported products.
Today, Australia is still the largest iron ore producer and exporter in the world, accounting for 37% of global production and 52% of global iron ore exports. According to the recent report from Report Buyer , Australia has also the largest iron ore reserves in the world, with 52 billion tonnes of iron ore reserve as of January 2017, accounting for 30.1% of the world’s total.
The Pilbara region is the number one iron ore producing region in Australia, accounting for over 90% of Australia’s iron ore production annually. Other major iron ore mining operations also exist at Koolyanobbing, Cockatoo Island, Tallering Peak, Koolanooka, Jack Hills, and Koolan Island in Western Australia, the Middleback Ranges in South Australia, Frances Creek in the Northern Territory, and Savage River in Tasmania. Meanwhile, some of the leading iron ore suppliers in Australia include Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group etc.
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Exports from Australian Iron Ore Industry
According to the latest trading data from International Trade Centre (ITC), in 2016, Australia exported about $39.7 billion worth or equivalent of 853.4 million tons of iron ore to the global market, representing over half of the world’s total iron ore exports in that year, making Australia again the world’s largest iron ore exporter. China is the largest importer of iron ore from Australia. Last year, over 696.1 million metric tons of iron ore were exported to China from Australia, representing over 68.6% of the total Australian iron ore export worth in that year. Other biggest importers of Australian iron ore include Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Over the recent decades, China has become the largest market for Australian iron ore suppliers. Today, China remains the world’s largest steel producer, therefore the nation poses a significant consumer demand for iron ore. In response to growth in Chinese steel production over the past decade, Australia’s leading iron ore producers have invested in the construction of new mines and associated infrastructure. As a result, the export of iron ore from Australia to China continues to show strong performance.
Iron Ore Price in the Global Market
According to the latest report from Western Australia’s Department of State Development, China’s increasing demand for iron ore resulted in the iron ore price rising from around US$30 a tonne in 2002-03 to around US$150 a tonne in 2011-12. The increase in iron ore production in Western Australia displaced higher cost production in China and, combined with lower demand from Chinese steelmakers, led to the iron ore price falling by 42% in 2014-15 and a further 28% in 2015-16. The iron ore price fell to as low as US$37 a tonne in December 2015 but increased during 2016. The monthly average price for February 2017 was US$89 a tonne.
Connect with Top Iron Ore Suppliers in Australia
The prominence of the Australian iron ore market has attracted a significant number of buyers and traders from all over the world. To help your iron ore or steel business stays at the top of the industry, BizVibe provides the best solutions to source products and make the best business deals with the top iron ore suppliers in Australia. Don’t miss your chance to connect with the best industry suppliers, manufacturers, and companies on BizVibe.
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