* No repeat of iron ore scarcity pricing - BHP's Calderon
* China to use more recycled steel after 2025, lowering
* Copper price will support new supply until 2025
CANBERRA, Sept 19 BHP Billiton, the
world's biggest miner, said it does not expect a repeat of the
"spectacular imbalance" between steel supply and demand in China
that propelled iron ore prices to a record high last year.
Demand for iron ore is likely to grow at a slower pace than
previously, BHP Billiton's Alberto Calderon, chief executive of
aluminium, nickel and corporate development, told an Australia
resources conference in Canberra on Wednesday.
"We won't see again this spectacular sort of imbalance
between demand and supply that we have seen. But we still have
many good years ahead of us."
Iron ore peaked at over $190 a tonne last
year, but plummeted to a three-year low of $86.70 earlier this
month before scrambling back above $100.
"Demand will grow less for steel. And producers in general
will be more prepared to satisfy that supply," Calderon said.
"This doesn't mean that the boom has ended. But it does mean
that to expect that prices will continue to grow, or even stay
at very high growth levels... you will do that at your our own
Australia's official government forecaster on Tuesday said
it expected contract prices for iron ore to be $126 per tonne
through 2012 and $101 in 2013.
Calderon said copper fundamentals looked more sustainable.
"Prices over the long term will be set at levels high enough
to incentivize investment in new supply."
Australia has been counting on a pipeline of resource and
energy projects worth $270 billion to prolong its remarkable run
of 21 years without a recession.
But with prices for iron ore, coal and other resources under
pressure, the prospects for proposed, but as yet uncommitted,
projects worth around $200 billion have dimmed.
Earlier this month, BHP Billiton said it was closing a
second loss-making coal mine in Australia, blaming high costs,
weak prices and a strong Australian dollar for the decision.
The move follows BHP's decision to defer more than $40
billion in projects, including a coking coal expansion and a $20
billion expansion of its Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in