The Port Hedland Port Authority released the throughput for April late last week which showed another new record for exports.
The Port has been working hard and the numbers show massive improvement year on year and on the same month the year before with the Port Authority reporting:
A record monthly throughput of 35.3 million tonnes (Mt) in April, an increase of 33% from the same month in 2013. Iron ore exports totalled 34.8 Mt, an increase of 33% from the same month in 2013. Total throughput for the financial year-to-date is 301Mt, an increase of 30% from the same period the previous year.
David Scutt from Arab Bank tweeted the following chart yesterday which shows the step up in production and throughput:
Paul Bloxham from HSBC reiterated that China remains a key market and support for Australia’s economic growth noting that:
Continued strength in Australian iron ore exports to China may surprise some observers, given weaker growth in China recently. However, there are at least two factors to keep in mind. First, while China’s growth has weakened, much of the slowdown has been in manufacturing, while growth in infrastructure investment — which is the key driver of demand for steel — has remained strong and is expected to continue. Second, Australia is the lowest cost producer of iron ore, so that even if overall demand for iron ore slows, other producers are likely to see cuts before there is a reduction in demand for Australian iron ore.
The RBA isn’t expected to move rates today and the hope of many is that they will note the high Aussie dollar to help push it lower.
But with data like this and a recovery in interest rate sensitive sectors, there is a clear indication that monetary policy is working through the economy and the next move in rates might be sooner than many have expected.
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