Western Australia’s Pilbara Ports Authority has just revealed its monthly throughput statistics for the month of October.
The ports exported 50.1 million tonnes of iron ore over the month, despite the commodity price falling again in October.
Overnight iron ore for the December contracts was down to $77.82 a tonne, well off the $100 mark earlier this year. Falling below the $80 a tonne marker squeezes some of the more costly or pure-play iron ore producers including Fortescue Metals Group, Atlas Iron and BC Iron.
Atlas Iron and BC Iron were both trading down more than 6% on the ASX a short time ago.
However, despite the lower commodity price, Australia’s largest iron ore shipping terminal, the Port of Port Hedland, moved 37.5 million tonnes of the red dirt, up 8.5 million tonnes or 30% compared to October 2013.
The data is a good indication of how much iron ore is being shipped out of Australia on a monthly basis and where it’s headed to.
And while it’s no surprise China receives the bulk of the commodity, the chart below shows Korea and Japan are also currently receiving large shipments from Port Hedland.
It also shows just how reliant the mining sector is on continued Chinese demand.