Iron ore exports from Australia's Port Hedland rebounded sharply last month

Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images

Iron ore exports from the world’s largest iron ore loading terminal, Port Hedland, rebounded modestly in February following weather-related supply disruptions in January.

According to the Pilbara Ports Authority, exports rose by 2.85 million tonnes, or 8.4%, to 36.63 million tonnes during the month, leaving the annual increase at 2.7%.

In the 12 months to February iron ore exports totalled 444 million tonnes, down fractionally on the 446.1 million 12-month record struck in December 2015.

Exports to China, the largest source of demand, totalled 27.9 million tonnes for the month, leaving it down 7.7% from 12 months earlier.

The timing of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, held in early February, may have contributed to the slowdown.

Supply disruptions from Australia and Brazil, along with renewed strength in Chinese steel prices, has seen the spot price for iron ore rocket in recent months.

According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines has risen over 40% since December 11 last year, leaving the year to date gain at 23.4%.

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