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Fortescue hits export record as iron ore prices surge

BROOKE CORTE

Fortescue Metals has broken its own production record, shipping 178.2 million tonnes of iron ore and taking advantage of surging demand from Chinese steel producers amid sky-high prices.

The record result was lapped up by investors and saw the share price of the company climb by about 4%, and up by more than 100% since late March.

The rocketing stock price means Fortescue is now the sixth-largest company in Australia and Western Australia’s biggest, overtaking diversified conglomerate Wesfarmers.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the record result was driven by ongoing strength in Chinese steel production.

“It’s not really coming as a surprise to us that there is ongoing strength in demand for iron ore,

“We continue to meet our targets, we’ve shipped a record 178.2 million tonnes for FY20 and we’ve maintained our low-cost position so we’re generating very strong margins on the back of what we’re seeing as a strong market.”

Fortescue record result comes at a time when the relationship between Canberra and Beijing is increasingly tense. But while the geopolitical relationship has its ups and downs, the trade relationship between the two nations remains strong.

“The ABS put out some data recently where just for June alone, iron ore exports reached a record $10 billion dollars, and a record $100 billion for the FY20, and 87% of that was exported to China.

“There’s certainly some recognition that it’s a very important trade relationship,

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BROOKE CORTE
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