COLUMN-Iron ore giants win 1st round in global battle but knockout unlikely: Russell
(Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.)
By Clyde Russell
LAUNCESTON, Australia, Oct 23 (Reuters) - There is now no doubt that the big three global iron ore miners are producing record amounts in their bid to dominate the industry. The question remains, what will happen if they succeed?
Anglo-Australian giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton both reported record output in their latest quarterly reports, and affirmed they were on track to boost production even further.
Top producer, Brazil's Vale is also increasing output, with Brazilian trade figures showing iron ore exports rose 16.7 percent in September from August to 33 million tonnes.
These figures show that the output side of the plan to dominate global seaborne iron ore trade is going quite well for the big three.
In the case of BHP and Rio Tinto, they are well-placed to continue to put pressure on competitors based in their home turf of Western Australia state, as well as those in other parts of the world. (for a graphic on BHP production, see here)
With the lowest cash costs, in the region between $20 to $30 a tonne, and plans to strip out even more costs, they can survive and prosper even if iron ore prices remain weak. Continuación...