Australia ups 2012/13 iron ore output forecast to 529 mln/t

SYDNEY Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:54pm EST

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SYDNEY Dec 12 (Reuters) - Australia has revised up its forecast for iron ore output in fiscal 2013 to 529 million tonnes from 526 million previously, citing a rise in demand from China.

The world's top exporter also lifted its price forecast for the raw steel-making material by $5 to $106 per tonne in calendar 2013, quarterly data released on Wednesday by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) showed.

Spot iron ore prices this week climbed to their highest level since July, backed by buying from China in anticipation of a stronger pick-up in demand for steel next year.

Expectations are rising that iron ore supplies may be tight in the first quarter of 2013 due to seasonal cyclones and rains that typically threaten exports from Australia and Brazil between December and April.

Spot iron ore was last quoted at $123.40 a tonne .

Iron ore is mostly mined in Australia by Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group .

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