UPDATE 2-Chinese iron ore imports seen rising to 1 bln tonnes as top miners rule

miércoles 4 de febrero de 2015 03:41 GYT

* Australia, Brazil's share of China market seen exceeding 80 pct

* China's domestic iron ore supply seen shrinking by 70 mln T

* Big miners to add 196 mln T more to supply through 2020 - Vale

* China's 2015 steel output seen down 1 pct at 814 mln T (Adds quotes, details throughout)

By David Stanway

BEIJING, Feb 4 (Reuters) - China's iron ore imports are forecast to rise to a record 1 billion tonnes this year, with main suppliers Australia and Brazil expanding their share in the world's top market for the raw material, justifying their plans to expand output.

The move by global miners Vale, Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group to boost production has fuelled a glut that has slashed iron ore prices by more than 50 percent over the past year.

In taking out smaller, high-cost rivals, the big producers have practically guaranteed themselves a market in China for the millions of tonnes more of iron ore they will produce until the end of the decade even if prices remain low.

The share of China's iron ore imports taken by Australia and Brazil will expand to more than 80 percent this year from 77 percent in 2014, Li Xinchuang, executive vice secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association, told an industry conference on Wednesday.   Continuación...