REFILE-COLUMN-Big iron ore miners' plan to displace everybody else losing steam: Russell

miércoles 3 de junio de 2015 02:59 GYT

(Corrects to add apostrophe in headline)

--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--

By Clyde Russell

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 3 (Reuters) - How well is the plan by big iron ore miners to displace high-cost iron ore from the seaborne and Chinese domestic markets going? Maybe just OK, certainly not great.

Much has been written about how the big three global iron ore miners will use their low-cost, high-output mines to muscle competitors out of the market, thus restoring the supply-demand balance and ultimately justifying the billions of dollars they spent boosting capacity well in excess of demand.

The problem for Brazil's Vale and the Anglo-Australian pair of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton <BHP Billiton> is that the signs are this isn't working perhaps as well as they may have hoped.

Certainly Chinese trade numbers show that Australia in particular has increased market share in iron ore imports, but the momentum may be stalling.

In the first four months of the year, Chinese imports of the steel-making ingredient from Australia were 195.845 million tonnes, or 63.7 percent of the total 307.282 million tonnes.   Continuación...