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MELBOURNE, March 16 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said on Wednesday he was relatively bearish on the iron ore price.
Industry needed to "be prepared for lower for longer" in regards to iron ore prices, Mackenzie told a business conference in Melbourne.
Mackenzie also said that BHP has the financial flexibility to chase deals, but can also grow without acquisitions.
Iron ore prices' 30-percent gain so far this year has defied most forecasts for weakening prices in 2016 due to low-cost supply from Australia and Brazil and weaker steel demand from China. (Reporting By Sonali Paul; , editing by G Crosse, Jane Wardell)