Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Friday, 7 April 2017

This is a low

Tropical low

The Pilbara experienced a tropical low in late March, and plenty of heavy precipitation.

Port Hedland iron ore export volumes were 1 per cent lower than a year ago in March 2017 at 39.09Mt, down from 39.53Mt in 2016.

This comes off the back of a weaker result in February 2017 too. 

The Port of Dampier suffered the port’s anchorages being cleared of vessels for a total of 18 hours due to the tropical low, but nevertheless saw monthly throughput increase by 11 per cent from the prior year. 

Annual iron export volumes from Port Hedland have stalled for now, although this is unlikely to last for too long given that Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project has now moved in to the ramp-up phase.  

In any event, thanks to a rebound in iron ore and coal prices and an ongoing massive ramp up in LNG exports, merchandise exports remain well on track to break a record high by the end of FY2017. 

Queensland's Cyclone Debbie has resulted in five local coal miners declaring a "force majeure", so there will be a speed bump in coal export volumes to take into account (although this has in turn spiked Dalian coking coal futures). 

Dalian iron ore futures went the other way today, tumbling by 5 per cent.

Overall, though, it's been a massive rebound in commodity prices and thus export FOB values in FY2017, with huge volumes of LNG due to come online over the next year.