Iron ore exports from major producers in the first half of 2021 were largely flat on the same period a year ago. Operational issues at Rio Tinto and Vale mean the miners will need to lift export run rates to meet full-year targets, while BHP achieved its financial year target and Fortescue Metals Group’s export performance was weaker than expected. The lack of overall iron ore export growth and struggles on the part of some miners to achieve guidance indicate tight supply conditions will prevail this year, helping support current high iron ore price levels.
Seaborne shipments from Rio Tinto, BHP, Vale, Fortescue and Roy Hill from Saldanha port in South Africa, as well as from Paradip and Mormugao ports in India, reached 100.67 million mt in June, up 0.1% on the month but down 7.9% on year, according to analysis using cFlow, S&P Global Platts Analytics’ trade-flow software. This took volumes to 571.84 million mt in the first half of this year, down 0.2% on the year. Many producers maximize exports in June to meet targets set for Australia’s financial year ending June 30. Shipments in July are usually weaker as stocks are rebuilt and maintenance works carried out. Information collected by the S&P Global Platts Dry Bulk Freight team showed there will be upcoming port maintenance works in Australia and Brazil in July.
Highlights by producer:The above shipment volumes are an estimate using Platts cFlow. The data should be used as an indication only and may not capture all ship movements and volumes.