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SYDNEY, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group's September quarter shipments rose 60 percent from a year ago to 41.5 million tonnes, helping drive down costs in a hotly contested global market, the company said on Thursday.
Australia's No. 3 iron ore miner said its average selling price fell to $71 per tonne over the quarter to Sept 30 from $121 per tonne tonne in the year earlier period, partly offset by a 3 percent drop in average cash production costs to $32.08 a tonne.
Fortescue, which competes with global majors Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in the seaborne-traded iron ore market said it operated at an annualised run rate of 166 million tonnes during the quarter.
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin