SYDNEY, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Australian shipments of iron ore to China from Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the world’s seaborne trade, fell 8.5 percent in November from a near-record high in October, port data showed.
The drop to 29.0 million tonnes in November, from 31.71 million the month before, according to Pilbara Ports Authority, came as prices for the steel-making mineral continued to slide.
November had one less day than October, so daily shipments of iron ore totalled 968,000 tonnes compared to 1.02 million.
Shipments to China remained strong for the year being 30 percent higher than in November 2013.
Total iron ore shipments to all destinations amounted to 34.43 million tonnes in November, down from 37.47 million the month before.
On July 1, the Port Hedland Port Authority amalgamated with the port of Dampier, creating what it says will be the largest bulk export tonnage port in the world based in the Australian Pilbara iron belt.
BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group ship from Port Hedland, while Dampier port is one of two in the Pilbara iron ore belt used by Rio Tinto. The other is Cape Lambert.
A supply glut stoked by the Australian miners and Brazil’s Vale has boosted output at a time when the Chinese economy is slowing, slashing iron ore prices by almost half this year. (Reporting by Wayne Cole)