SYDNEY: China will help support global commodity markets this year as advanced economies struggle, the head of Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP said Thursday as the company reported record iron ore production.
Western Australia’s iron ore output increased 1% on the year for the July-December period last year, reaching 146 million tonnes on a 100% basis, the company reported.
Economic conditions in China, the world’s largest iron ore buyer, are expected to improve thanks to pro-growth policies in real estate and other sectors, as well as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, CEO Mike Henry said in a statement.
“BHP believes China will be a stabilising force when it comes to commodity demand in the 2023 calendar year, with OECD nations experiencing economic headwinds,” Henry said.
The production increase in July-December was attributed to improved productivity at mines as well as a drop in Covid-related employee absences.
BHP’s average selling price of iron ore was down 25% from the same period a year earlier to US$85.46 per tonne.