Australia cuts iron ore export revenue forecasts

CANBERRA, Sept 18 Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:52pm EDT

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CANBERRA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Australia, the world's biggest iron ore producer, revised down its forecast for export revenue for the steelmaking ingredient on Tuesday, a fresh sign the mining sector is losing steam as a slowdown in top customer China drives down iron ore prices.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) forecast iron ore exports in the year to June 30, 2013, would be 509 million tonnes, little changed on its June forecast of 510 million tonnes and up 8 percent on the previous year.

But the bureau forecast iron ore revenue would fall sharply.

Total iron ore export revenue was forecast at A$53.15 billion ($55.83 billion), compared to the previous forecast of A$66.94 billion, reflecting weaker global prices for iron ore.

The bureau said it expected contract prices for iron ore to be $126 per tonne through 2012 and $101 in 2013.

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