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Iron Ore Exports from Port Hedland Gain 12% on China

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Iron ore shipments from Australia’s Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export terminal, rose 12 percent in November as China bought more of the raw material used to make steel.

Total exports were 15.7 million metric tons, the Port Hedland Port Authority said today on its website. That compares with 14 million tons a year earlier. Shipments to China gained 22 percent to 11.8 million tons, it said.

China, the world’s largest metals consumer, imported 26 percent more ore in November, according to figures provided by China’s General Administration of Customs, as steelmakers restocked on expectations of higher prices. Iron ore prices in the first three months of next year may rise as much as 7 percent from the current quarter, the Steel Index said last week.

Shipments to Japan gained 27 percent to 1.9 million tons, the port authority said.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Australia’s third-largest iron ore exporter, ship ore from Port Hedland in northwestern Australia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Keenan in Melbourne at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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