Iron ore shipments from Australia’s largest port dropped last month due to weaker demand from China as prices for the commodity jumped to $102 a tonne — its highest point in more than a month.
According to the article on The Australian, a total of 33.6 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient was shipped through Port Hedland in Western Australia’s northwest last month, which represents a 6.8% drop from the 36.1 million tonnes shipped a month earlier.
The slide in iron ore shipments was underpinned by the 2.4% drop in exports to steel-hungry China, which still bought more than 29 million tonnes of the ore shipped from Port Hedland.
The slowdown in demand from China is being attributed to the country’s record crude steel output rates in recent months, with traders also speculating that Chinese imports of the raw material may continue to fall amid an alleged financial scandal which saw banks withhold credit and Customs officials tighten checks on incoming shipments.
Shipments to Japan and Korea also fell considerably, with exports in Japan down to 1.4 million tonnes form nearly 2.5 million tonnes, while exports to South Korea dropped to 2.2 million from nearly three million the previous month.