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Global iron ore output hit record high in 2011 - UN
GENEVA, July 31 |
GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) - Global production of iron ore, vital for the steel industry, hit a record high of 1.92 billion tons in 2011, largely to feed surging demand from China, the United Nations reported on Tuesday.
The UN's trade and development agency UNCTAD said in a new report, Iron Ore Market 2011-13, that last year's total output was up 4.7 percent on 2010, with major producer Australia increasing its total by 12.7 percent, Brazil by 5.1 percent and China by 2.1 percent.
In Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, production stagnated. India, which has long been a key producer with a growing industrial base, dropped 7.5 percent.
The overall increase in production was matched by a rise in international iron ore trade to a record 1,115 billion tons, of which developing countries accounted for 49.5 percent, UNCTAD said.
Mounting demand from China has driven the global recovery in crude steel production since the global financial crisis of 2008/09. The country's iron ore imports climbed 11 percent against 2010 to 6,867 million tons - 61 percent of the world total.
The report, produced by UNCTAD's Trust Fund Project on Iron Ore Production, predicted that output would increase to about 2 billion tons this year and 2.08 billion tons in 2013. However, market conditions would remain tight for several years, it said. (Reported by Robert Evans; Editing by David Goodman)
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