Iron ore shipments to China from Port Hedland in Australia, the world’s largest export terminal for the raw material, fell from a record amid concern economic growth in the biggest buyer may slow as global supply increases.
Cargoes totaled 22.3 million metric tons in November from an all-time high of 25.2 million tons a month earlier and 16.2 million tons in November 2012, data on the port website show. Total shipments were 28.1 million tons from 28.9 million tons in October and 21.7 million tons a year earlier.
Prices declined 5.9 percent this year as China’s growth slowed for two quarters amid expectations of a glut in global supplies. The commodity may drop to $110 by the end of the year as demand wanes and supply starts to pick up, according to Westpac Banking Corp. Banks from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Morgan Stanley are predicting lower prices in 2014 as Australian miners boost output, swelling global supplies.
Ore with 62 percent content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin was unchanged at $136.40 a dry ton on Nov. 29, according to The Steel Index Ltd. Prices dropped 14 percent from this year’s high of $158.90 in February.
China’s economic growth may slow to 7.5 percent in 2014 from 7.6 percent this year, according to economists estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was 50.8 in November from 50.9 in October.
Crude steel demand in China will grow 3 percent to 760 million tons in 2014, compared with a rate of 8.9 percent this year, the China Iron & Steel Association said Nov. 26. Iron ore imports declined to 67.83 million tons in October from 74.58 million tons in September, customs data show.
Surging production in Australia, led by BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group will expand global supplies. The surplus will climb to 90 million tons in 2014 from 18 million tons this year, according to Citigroup Inc.