BHP Billiton expected China to cut its domestic iron ore output as global producers flooded the market with low-cost supply, the world’s largest mining company said yesterday. “As Australia expands its ability to export more and more high-quality iron ore, the Chinese are producing less and less domestically,” BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said in Sydney at the B20 forum of business leaders. He predicted this would also happen in India.
Between 20 percent and 30 percent of the iron ore mines in China had closed down, the China Metallurgical Mining Enterprise Association reported. The Chinese market was becoming saturated with lower-cost imports from Australia and Brazil, Morgan Stanley reported last month. Iron ore prices had slipped 27 percent this year and prices would probably fall next year, Citigroup said. – Bloomberg