Australia’s Port Hedland iron ore shipments to China jump 16% in December

(Reuters) – Iron ore shipments to China from Australia’s Port Hedland rose by 16% in December from a month earlier, despite a short weather related shutdown, the Pilbara Ports Authority said on Friday.

Iron ore exports to China rose to 40.0 million tonnes from 34.44 million tonnes in November, data from the authority showed.

Total iron ore exports from Port Hedland rose to 46.5 million tonnes from 41.61 million tonnes in November.

Strong shipments from the world’s largest iron ore export hub came even as the port of Port Hedland was closed for 26 hours from 10 December to due to significant swells generated by a tropical low, the authority said.

Prices for iron ore hit a record high at $175 a tonne in December, extending a rally powered by a bullish demand outlook for 2021 and growing concerns about supply.

Port Hedland is used by three of Australia’s top four iron ore miners: BHP Group, Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill.