The world's production of iron ore, the key ingredient for making steel, despite continued slump of prices, has achieved an all-time high production record in 2011, according to a latest July report of the UN's Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, believed the global supply and demand for steel, which zoomed in recent years thanks to China's huge appetite, has reached its zenith. Although demand for iron ore will continue to grow, its growth however will be much slower compared in previous years. As such, the high prices that iron ore recorded in 2011 may not likely happen again.
The world's total iron ore output last year reached 1.92 billion tonnes, up 4.7 per cent from a year earlier, UNCTAD's Iron Ore Market 2011-2013 report revealed.
"Output of this commodity, vital for steel production, increased in most regions and countries except Europe, where production stagnated," the report said.
Production from India, another iron ore contributor, dropped 7.5 per cent to an estimated 196.0 million tonnes, the report added.
Iron ore production around the world continued to increase as new mining capacity that began operation in May 2011 hit 125 million tonnes, the report indicated.
Meanwhile, overseas iron ore trade in 2011 hit a record 1.115 billion tonnes as exports grew for the tenth consecutive year, the report said, of which developing countries accounted for 49.5 per cent of total exports in 2011.
"Their exports of iron ore have grown by 104.8 per cent since 2002," it added.
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