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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

More records tumble at Port Hedland

Alright, China

China is in a rush to get rich before it gets old, with its GDP growth still expected to be above 6½ per cent in the second half of calendar year 2018. 

Although China has a pressing demographic challenge and its population is forecast to stop growing significantly in the not-too-distant future, urbanisation continues apace with the urban population projected to surge to around 1 billion by the end of the next decade. 

Back in 2010 it was estimated in some parts that China had up to 64 million vacant homes as images emerged of 'ghost' cities. 

Eight years on, the latest residential indicators for China show that while the growth in floor space sold has slowed to a crawl, price growth and real estate development investment remain in positive territory.

Moreover, the unprecedented scale of this urbanisation requires tremendous investment in infrastructure, road, rail, ports, airports, warehouses, and factories.

Plus it won't be long before many of those apartments fall due to be rebuilt.

Dampier delight

The Pilbara Ports Authority reported its cargo statistics for the month of June 2018, which showed a thumping 47.2Mt of iron ore shipped in a single month - a fresh record high - with 85 per cent of that cargo destined for China and Taiwan.

This was a 10 per cent increase in cargo from a year earlier.

On June 2, the Port of Port Hedland notched a record daily tonnage of 2.4 million tonnes shipped across 12 vessels, the highest ever figure for a 24-hour period. 

Over the full financial year, some 509Mt of iron ore cargo was shipped, a 3 per cent increase year-on-year. 

These may seem to be mere numbers on the page, but if you've ever been up to Port Hedland you may appreciate how truly mind-boggling these statistics are!

The Pilbara Ports Authority reported that its total monthly throughput was 14 per cent higher than a year earlier in June. 

For the financial year total throughput was just shy of 700 million tonnes, a solid 5 per cent increase from a year earlier. 

Annual exports from Australia have now surged to nearly $400 million following the 2016 downturn.

Clearly reports of the China miracle's death have been somewhat exaggerated.