News from the Financial Association on January 19 (edited by Liu Rui)BHP Billiton Group, the world‘s largest miner, announced its iron ore production for the first half of its fiscal year on Thursday EST, predicting that China will drive global iron ore demand in 2023 as it reopens.
China’s iron ore demand will continue to grow
In the six months to December 31 last year, BHP Billiton miners produced a total of 132 million tons of iron ore. BHP Billiton expects its largest customer – China’s iron ore demand will continue to grow.
BHP chief executive Mike Henry said in a statement:
“China’s pro-growth policies, including boosting policies in the real estate sector, and optimizing epidemic prevention policies, are expected to support a gradual rebound in its economic conditions in the first half of this year.”
he expectedChina’s steel output to exceed 1 billion tons for fifth consecutive year。
In 2022, due to the uncertain outlook for iron ore demand in China, iron ore prices have experienced large fluctuations, and iron ore production has only reached half of the record. To this end, the business of global iron ore producing giants such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale has also experienced serious turmoil.
Still, hopes are growing for a recovery in the iron ore sector in 2023, as China, the world‘s largest metals consumer, optimizes containment measures, reopens its economy and promises more support for the construction and infrastructure sectors .
Maintain this year’s iron ore production forecast unchanged
In the fourth quarter of last year, BHP produced 66.9 million tonnes of iron ore, above the median analyst estimate of 64.2 million tonnes. Coking coal production was up 10% from a year earlier, copper production was up 16% and nickel production was down 18%.
Iron ore accounts for nearly half of BHP Billiton’s revenue Production is limited and copper production will be low.
Copper, nickel and potash are key to BHP’s growth plans as iron ore demand stabilizes, while BHP scales down its fossil fuel business.
The company is expected to buy OZ Minerals Ltd. later this year, a move that would boost its copper output by about 7 percent, but the deal still needs to be voted on by OZ Minerals shareholders and BHP did not say when the deal might close .
Coking coal production will also be at the lower end of guidance due to wet weather in northeastern Australia, BHP said.