Logistics, Ports & Terminals, Mining and Heavy Industries

Port Hedland volumes rise in April

Shipments of iron ore from Port Hedland were up 8.2% in April versus a year earlier, after the port bounced back from a quiet start to 2016.

Australia’s biggest iron ore export site shipped 32.6 million tonnes of iron ore, versus 30.1 million tonnes a year earlier.

The lift closed the gap after a down start to the year; exports from January to April are still down 1.1 million tonnes compared to the same timeframe a year ago.

Analysts have suggested a surge in capesize shipping rates over the past few weeks was due to renewed buying interest from China, which saw its steel production rise 2.9% to 70.7 million tonnes in March after two months of declines.

According to Arctic Securities analyst Erik Stavseth, China’s iron ore needs may be heading for the one-billion-tonne mark in 2016, using year-to-date overall import data, although he cautioned that the recent bull run based on positive sentiment from the Chinese steel sector was unsustainable and “likely detrimental for dry bulk”.

Since China’s steel production was about 4% lower in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, and its exports rose 8% in the same period, that was a sign of slowing domestic use, or of stock-building, Savseth said.

This is an edited article from ABHR affiliate Lloyd’s List. Read the original at http://www.lloydslist.com/ll.

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