Iron ore exports from Port Hedland, the world’s largest iron ore bulk-loading terminal, fell sharply in January as weather related disruptions wreaked havoc on port operations.
Over the month iron ore exports totaled 33.78 million tonnes, down 10% on the 37.547 million tonnes loaded in December.
The sharp decline left volumes down 8.1% from a year earlier, the steepest percentage decline on record.
Exports to China fell to 26.516 million tonnes, down from 32.166 million tonnes in December, leaving the annual percentage decline at 12.1%.
While an ugly drop, it was largely due to the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Stan late in the month, something that temporarily ceased operations at the port for more than two days.