COLUMN-Who benefits from the iron ore supply glut? Nobody?: Russell
-- Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own. --
By Clyde Russell
PERTH, March 11 (Reuters) - One question that skulks like an elephant in a room where the iron ore industry has gathered is who has benefited the most from bulging global supplies.
The Anglo-Australian pair of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are happy to tell you how they have successfully ramped up output at costs low enough to still rake in profits.
That was very much their message at this week's Global Iron Ore & Steel Forecast conference in the Western Australia capital city.
The smaller miners suffering from the collapse in Asian spot iron ore prices are only too willing to speak of their battle to survive amid what they see as the destruction of the value of an industry that is Australia's largest export earner.
The price of iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI hit its lowest on record on Tuesday, at $58 a tonne, with this year's decline of 19 percent compounding last year's slump of 47 percent.
Steel industry officials in China, the destination of two-thirds of the world's seaborne iron ore, will also tell you how their industry suffers from overcapacity, poor profits and the economy's shift to consumption-led growth. Continuación...