COLUMN-Australia, Brazil boost China iron ore import share, but not enough: Russell

miércoles 27 de enero de 2016 00:18 GYT

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

By Clyde Russell

LAUNCESTON, Australia Jan 27 (Reuters) - - Iron ore heavyweights Australia and Brazil are gaining market share in top buyer China, but aren't quite destroying their smaller rivals as quickly as they need to.

Australia shipped 607.4 million tonnes of iron ore to China in 2015, a gain of 10.8 percent on the prior year, according to Chinese customs data published on Tuesday.

Brazil's exports totalled 191.6 million tonnes, up 12.1 percent over 2014, the data showed.

In terms of market share, Australia's jumped from 58.8 percent of China's imports in 2014 to 63.7 percent last year, while Brazil's went from 18.3 percent to 20.1 percent.

So far so good for the big producers, Brazil's Vale , the Anglo-Australian majors Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, and No.4 Fortescue Metals Group.

There are two pillars that the iron ore majors have used to justify their massive expansion projects over the past five years.

The first is that they can become the lowest cost producers and use that advantage to drive smaller competitors from the seaborne iron ore market.   Continuación...