Jan 27 (Reuters) - China, the world's biggest steel producer and consumer, buys around 60 percent of global iron ore exports and mainly from Australia and Brazil. China is also the world's biggest iron ore producer, although the low iron content of its domestic ore makes it heavily reliant on imports, and a key driver of spot prices. Iron ore is China's biggest commodity import by volume. Following are the world's top five iron ore exporters and importers as well as producers: EXPORTERS 2011 1. Australia 414 mln tonnes 2. Brazil 324 mln tonnes 3. India 87 mln tonnes 4. South Africa 52 mln tonnes 5. Canada 35 mln tonnes World exports 1.071 bln tonnes IMPORTERS 1. China 642 mln tonnes 2. European Union 145 mln tonnes 3. Japan 133 mln tonnes 4. South Korea 57 mln tonnes 5. Taiwan 16 mln tonnes World imports 1.071 bln tonnes PRODUCERS 1. China 1.2 bln tonnes 2. Australia 480 mln tonnes 3. Brazil 390 mln tonnes 4. India 240 mln tonnes 5. Russia 100 mln tonnes World output 2.8 bln tonnes PRODUCERS (by company) 1. Vale 310 mln tonnes 2. Rio Tinto 245 mln tonnes 3. BHP Billiton 159 mln tonnes (year to June 2012) 4. Fortescue Metals Group 55 mln tonnes 5. ArcelorMittal 54 mln tonnes Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and company websites. Most of the figures are estimates by the agencies and companies. (Compiled by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Miral Fahmy)
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