Government of Western Australia Official Site


Port Hedland has busiest month ever


Exports from Port Hedland rose to a record in March 2016, according to the world’s biggest bulk-export terminal, which handles cargoes for miners including BHP Billiton Ltd. and new entrant Roy Hill Holdings Pty. Total shipments increased to 39.53 million metric tons last month from 36.63 million in February and 36.61 million a year earlier, according to data from the port authority on Tuesday. The figure eclipses the previous high of 39.4 million tons set in September. Exports to China rose to 32.6 million tons compared with 29.14 million tons in February, and 31.2 million in the same month in 2015.

While iron ore has staged a surprise rally in 2016 as Chinese policy makers signalled their willingness to bolster slowing growth in the top user, prices have sagged in the past two weeks as port holdings expanded to the highest level in almost a year. Port Hedland is a maritime gateway to low-cost supply from the Pilbara, the world’s largest production center.

Billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill venture has been ramping up operations this year, and last month dispatched its inaugural cargo to China, with an ultimate output target of 55 million tons a year. The company plans to hold a ceremony at the Chinese port of Caofeidian, which is due to receive Roy Hill’s first mainland cargo. Earlier shipments have gone to other Asian destinations including South Korea.