Exports of iron ore out of Australia’s Pilbara port reached a new high for fiscal year (FY) 2015, plunging iron ore prices lower as the world glut continues to bight.
Pilbara Port Authority announced on July 2 that it had delivered a record annual throughput of 619.8 million tonnes for the financial year ending 30 June, with Port Hedland increasing its throughput by 20% to 446.9 million tonnes.
In June, iron ore shipments to China reached 32,606,340 million tonnes.
Iron ore exports for the year totalled 439.6 million tonnes, an increase of 75.2 million tonnes – up 21% from FY 2014, according to the Pilbara release.
According to data from Metal Bulletin Ltd, this dropped the price of ore to USD55.63 or 6%, the biggest one-day decline in a year.
Port Hedland achieved a record monthly trade throughput of 38.8 million tonnes in June, an increase of 4.5 million tonnes or 13% for the same month in 2014. However, with major construction and capital expenditure down, imports dropped 34% to 112,000 tonnes.
The Port of Dampier throughput was down 3% on last year, but imports rose 32% from 2014.
“There’s nothing new,” an industry insider told IHS Maritime. “They will all keep shipping and the increase is still there.”
With the new capacity coming on with Roy Hill, the price is expected to drop further. While Atlas and Fortescue have reduced their operating costs to USD50 a tonne, costs are still tight. Atlas did stop exports for around a month, he said, despite reporting otherwise.
Department of Trade data projects iron ore shipments out of Australia may expand 10% in 2016 because of Rinehart’s Roy Hill shipments scheduled to commence in September.