Aussie iron ore exports gained 10% in 2012, forecast to rise by 13% next year

Despite a tough time for the global resources sector over the past twelve months due to plunging commodities prices and ailing Chinese demand, Australia's iron ore exports are believed to have risen by 10% year-on-year in 2012 with more substantial gains expected next year.

SteelOrbis reports that the latest Quarterly Resources and Energy report released by the Australia Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) on December 12 indicates that Australia's iron exports in 2012 hit 481 mt for a 10% year-on-year rise, boosted by capacity expansions amongst mining giants such as Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP).

The report also expects accelerated growth in iron ore exports in 2013, forecasting an increase of 13% to hit 543 million mt.

BREE expects iron ore prices to fall in 2013 to around USD$106/mt, remaining close to present levels during the first half of the year before rising in the fourth quarter on the back of increased infrastructure and stimulus spending by the Chinese government.