Australia's P. Hedland iron ore shipments to China fall in Feb
SYDNEY, March 7 |
SYDNEY, March 7 (Reuters) - Iron ore exports to China from Australia's Port Hedland, a strong indicator of Chinese industrial activity, fell by 14.8 percent in February, with disruptions caused by a cyclone contributing to the decline for the second month in a row.
Shipments of ore to China fell to 15.66 million tonnes in February, from 18.38 million tonnes the month before, data from the Port Hedland Port Authority showed.
Yet shipments were still up 7.4 percent on February last year. The timing of Chinese New Year holidays may have also impacted on shipments in February.
Overall iron ore exports from the port, handling about a fifth of the global sea-borne market for the steel-making raw ingredient, fell 9.5 percent to 19.9 million tonnes, from 22 million tonnes in January, according to the data.
Year-on-year, total shipments were up 1.5 percent.
Cyclone Rusty, which swept down the Pilbara iron belt coastline in the last week of February, caused Port Hedland port to shut for 86.5 hours.
Cyclone Peta, packing less punch than Rusty, forced Port Hedland to shut for a day on Jan. 22.
Port Hedland is used by BHP Billiton , Fortescue Metals Group and Atlas Iron to ship iron ore cargoes which this year are expected to exceed 200 million tonnes.
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