One Of The Most Important Themes In The Australian Economy Is In This Mind-Blowing Record Set On Saturday

Fortescue’s loading facility at Port Hedland. Photo: Bloomberg.

Australia’s largest iron ore port, Port Headland, set a new record at the weekend, shipping over 1.2 million tonnes in a single tide.

The Port Hedland Port Authority said on Saturday it managed to ship 1,270,721 tonnes of iron ore, using seven capesize bulk carrier ships, in one tidal movement, beating its previous record set in April, by more than 160,000 tonnes.

The Port Authority said it’s also the first time seven capesize vessels have left on a tide.

In May the port set a record for the total amount of iron ore shipped over a month, shipping more than 36 million tonnes of the commodity.

These record volumes are playing a critical role in the Australian economy at the moment. The market price of iron ore has been sliding faster than the Australian dollar in recent months, meaning that the big mining companies – notably Rio Tinto, BHP, and Fortescue – have been ramping up production volumes to maintain profit margins.

On top of this, the increased production is a capability built during the much-talked-about mining investment boom. People have worried about the end of this phase and its effect on the economy; the mistake is to overlook the economic benefits of all the capacity the investment boom built into the system.

The Q1 GDP figure for Australia, which printed at a surprisingly high 3.5%, was driven largely by 1.4% growth in the mining sector. This has maintained growth momentum in the Australian economy while the non-mining sector – especially construction – awaits a big upswing that is expected to come from record-low interest rates.

There’s more on that here.

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