Iron Ore Shipments From Port Hedland to China Advance to Record

May 02, 2014 5:05 am ET

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Iron ore exports to China from Australia’s Port Hedland surged to a record in April as stockpiles in the biggest buyer reached an all-time high.

Shipments from the world’s largest bulk export terminal totaled 28.9 million metric tons last month compared with 27 million tons in March and 19.3 million tons a year earlier, data on the port authority’s website show. Total exports were also a record 34.8 million tons last month, up from 34.4 million tons in March and 26 million tons in April 2013, the data show.

Stockpiles at ports in China rose 1.3 percent to a record 105.19 million tons in the week ended April 25 and have climbed 29 percent this year, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Iron ore entered a bear market in March and has lost 21 percent this year on prospects for increased global supply. While the global seaborne surplus will climb to 79 million tons this year from 1 million tons in 2013, lower prices may spur imports, according to Morgan Stanley.

Iron ore may rebound in coming months on stronger seasonal demand and additional Chinese stimulus, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said today.

Ore with 62 percent iron content delivered to the port of Tianjin dropped 2.7 percent to $105.40 a dry ton on April 30, the lowest since March 11, according to The Steel Index Ltd.

Total shipments from Australia, the world’s largest exporter, will rise 19 percent to a record 687 million tons this year, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics estimates, as miners including Rio Tinto Group and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. boost output.