Iron-ore production sets record in 2011

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Iron ore production and trade

The production of iron-ore reached its record high in 2011 according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

In its yearly Iron Ore Market report, UNCTAD says that 1.9 billion tons of iron-ore, which is vital for steel production, were produced.

In 2011, the report adds, international iron ore trade reached a record 1.1 billion tons as exports increased for the tenth year in a row.

Alexei Mojarov of UNCTAD says the world's recovery in crude steel production has been caused almost entirely by China.

"China's imports of iron ore had increased by 11 per cent in 2011 and nowadays, China accounts for over 60 per cent of the total world's iron ore imports. Prices continued on an upward trend through most of 2011 as Chinese demand recovered and domestic Chinese iron ore producers were unable to keep up with this demand. With almost all iron-ore producers and steel mills having abandoned the benchmark pricing system where prices were set once in a year there is widespread confusion about prices."

The UNCTAD report predicts that iron-ore price volatility will increase.

Duration: 29″

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