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UPDATE 1-China's April iron ore output falls 16 pct yr/yr -stats bureau
May 14, 2015 / 9:42 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's April iron ore output falls 16 pct yr/yr -stats bureau

(Adds background, detail)
    SHANGHAI, May 14 (Reuters) - China's domestic iron ore
output fell 15.9 percent in April from a year before to 104.1
million tonnes, the statistics bureau said on Thursday, after
many small miners were forced to close because of a collapse in
prices in an oversupplied market.
    Production in the first four months reached 384.17 million
tonnes, down 11.8 percent, data from the National Bureau of
Statistics showed. 
    Many of the smaller miners have costs as high as $100 per
tonne and could not survive when a decline in steel consumption
in China and the continued expansion by top iron ore miners in
Australia and Brazil pushed the price down to $46.70 in April,
its lowest in a decade.
    Mining giants Vale, BHP Billiton  
and Rio Tinto  have bet on solid growth in demand
from China over the longer term.
    About 90 million tonnes of high-cost iron ore output have
quit the market from last year through the first quarter of
2015, according to an estimate by Alan Chirgwin, BHP's
vice-president for marketing. 
    Chirgwin said global iron ore supply could rise between 100
million and 110 million tonnes this year, while demand may only
grow between 30 million and 40 million. 
    China has slashed taxes to prop up the iron ore industry and
 reduce its reliance on the top miners.
    The iron price <.IO62-CNI=SI > has risen by a third from the
low point in April as steel mills restocked and it was trading
at around $62 this week. 
    However, the rally has encouraged some domestic miners to
resume output and analysts say that could push the price back
down again. 

 (Reporting by Ruby Lian and David Stanway; Editing by Alan
Raybould)

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