Ore price rises after Australian export decline reported

04 Juillet, 2019, 08:37 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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Australia's trade surplus swelled to a record as mineral exporters cashed in on resurgent iron ore prices, highlighting the nation's connection to sectors of China's economy benefiting from fiscal stimulus.

Australian authorities expect iron ore prices to average $80/mt this year, and fall to an average $57/mt in 2021, citing recovered supply and lower demand from China.

This will push the value of Australia's exports to Dollars 55 billion in fiscal 2020, reflecting higher prices that are largely due to Vale SA's dam disaster in January. With the country's close proximity to Asian markets, it has been a major supplier to China in particular, with 81 percent of iron ore exports having been sent there in 2018.

While Brazilian miner Vale SA brought one of its shuttered mines, Brucutu, back to full capacity late last month, Westpac analysts said the supply outlook for the year had not improved significantly. Iron ore prices were up 21%, volumes were up 19% and unit values rose 2%.

"Steel produced from Australian ore is building the new wave of global infrastructure, with around half being used for construction, and much of the rest for machinery and motor vehicles", Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said on Monday.

Tight supplies have bolstered prices of iron ore by 73% this year, to the highest since January 2014, following January's dam disaster at Vale that suspended 93 million mt of production and a storm in Western Australia that affected mine operation.

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In the most recent edition of Australian government report Resources and Energy Quarterly, officials touted a "significant change" to commodity forecasts for the country down under.

Exports to China during the month surged 18% with volumes were up 14%.

The $US2.12 a tonne or 2% rise means the price for the 62% grade ore has risen more than 6.7% in the first two days of July and is up 74% so far in 2019.

Metallurgical coal exports contributed a record A$42-billion in earnings in 2018/19, but are forecast to decline to A$36-billion in 2020/21, despite an expected growth in volumes from 180-million tonnes to 198-million tonnes.

"The trend for world imports.is likely to be slightly downwards".

Meanwhile, 315 t of gold were produced in Australia in 2018, making Australia the second largest producer in the world. Previous forecasts had indicated export earnings would peak in 2018 and 2019, with expected record earnings of AU$278 billion during that time.

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