As China-Australia trade stress increase, Beijing requires iron ore option

As China-Australia trade tensions rise, Beijing needs iron ore alternative

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Iron ore on train wagons at Salanaha Bay Terminal in South Africa.

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SINGAPORE — As stress in between Australia and China continue to simmer, Beijing requires to consider diversifying the supply of one essential product from Down Under, according to an expert.

Beijing imports 60% of its iron ore from Australia, and is greatly depending on the product, which it utilizes to make steel. China is the world’s leading manufacturer of steel.

Other Australian exports to China have actually been impacted by the weakening relationship in between the nations, with Beijing striking products such as red wine and barley with tariffs. Bilateral relations in between Canberra and Beijing soured previously this year after Australia supported a growing require a worldwide questions into China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Beijing has, up until now, spared iron ore from Australia, which experts credited to the absence of options readily available. Australia is the world’s biggest iron ore manufacturer.

However, Peter O’Connor, senior expert of metals and mining at financial investment company Shaw and Partners, states that Beijing now requires to think about diversifying its supply of iron ore.

“That direction or that narrative that we need to think about, that started several years ago … was about diversity of supply. It’s where can China source, how can they diversify away from Australia, also Brazil,” he informed CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

Brazil is the next biggest provider of iron ore to China, however has its own slate of concerns. In January 2019, a lethal dam catastrophe at a Vale iron ore website led the Brazilian mining giant to stop production at 10 places. Vale is the world’s second-largest iron ore manufacturer, and its most significant market is likewise China.

Following that mishap, Brazil has actually had a hard time to get its iron ore exports back to 2018 levels, stated Vivek Dhar, director of mining and energy products research study at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Iron ore rates just recently surged as need from China increased, and have actually been more stired by decreasing supply and interruptions triggered by storms striking Australia. At the very same time, China’s economy has actually mainly recuperated from the worst of the coronavirus hit, sustained in part by funneling stimulus into facilities.

One possible source of iron ore

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