China has been Australia's top consumer of iron ore for decades, accounting for 80 per cent of our exports of the mineral in 2021.
China is the largest consumer of iron ore, used to feed its steel industry.
Global iron ore trade
Australia is consistently the leading iron ore exporting country in the world. On the other hand, China is the world's largest importer of iron ore, accounting for a 70 percent share of the total global iron ore imports based on value in 2021.
Leading producers of iron ore in Australia are Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Mitsui and Mineral Resources. Rio Tinto's output was 263.04Mt in 2021, down by 3% on 2020.
The main destination of Iron Ore exports from Australia are: China ($95.7B), Japan ($9.1B), South Korea ($7.92B), Chinese Taipei ($2.65B), and Vietnam ($1.39B). The fastest growing export markets for Iron Ore of Australia between 2020 and 2021 were China ($30.8B), Japan ($4.68B), and South Korea ($3.57B).
|Rank||Country||Usable iron ore production (1000 tonnes)|
“Mainland China is by far the largest importer of iron ore in the world. In Jan-Dec 2022, China accounted for 71.3% of global seaborne iron ore imports, with Japan in second place at just 6.0% and the EU in third place with a 5.4% share.
THE FASTEST GROWING Iron Ore EXPORT MARKETS FOR Australia WERE (2020 – 2021): China $30.8B (47.5%) Japan $4.68B (106%) South Korea $3.57B (82.2%)
China remained Australia's largest trading partner in 2021–22, accounting for 27% of our two-way trade. Japan and Korea account for a further 18%. Many Australian companies are diversifying their export markets, and the ASEAN region now accounts for 14% of total trade.
The main destination of Wheat exports from Australia are: Indonesia ($1.36B), China ($912M), Vietnam ($864M), Philippines ($539M), and South Korea ($331M). The fastest growing export markets for Wheat of Australia between 2020 and 2021 were Indonesia ($1.13B), Vietnam ($627M), and China ($370M).
China – 20 billion tonnes. Ukraine – 6.5 billion tonnes.
Iron Ore are the world's 13th most traded product. In 2021, the top exporters of Iron Ore were Australia ($118B), Brazil ($46.2B), Canada ($8.31B), South Africa ($7.68B), and Ukraine ($6.83B).
World's 10 Largest Exporters
|NO||COUNTRY||YEARLY EXPORTS VALUE|
|2||UNITED STATES||$2.52 trillion|
The bulk of Western Australian ore went to China, which imported 82% of 2021 production, followed by Japan and South Korea, with 6% each. The state has the world's largest reserves of iron ore with 29% of the world's iron ore, followed by Brazil with 19%, Russia with 15% and China with 12%.
China remained Australia's largest two-way trading partner in 2018-19 and was our largest export market and import source. Two-way trade with China surged past $230 billion, well over double the second ranked trading partner, Japan.
Which economies invest in Australia
|Rank in 2022||Economy||% of total|
Wheat are the world's 71st most traded product. In 2021, the top exporters of Wheat were Russia ($8.92B), United States ($7.83B), Australia ($7.36B), Canada ($6.91B), and Ukraine ($5.87B). In 2021, the top importers of Wheat were Egypt ($4.53B), Nigeria ($3.32B), Indonesia ($2.98B), China ($2.94B), and Turkey ($2.49B).
Australia's biggest wheat farmer, Ron Greentree, has put Muttama Station, a 12,500 hectare cropping and grazing property west of Coonamble in the NSW Western Plains, up for sale after acquiring full ownership of it from former business partner Ken Harris in December.
China is the leading producer of iron. India, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Pakistan are the important producers of iron.
Top 5 U.S. ExportsGasoline and Other Fuels.Crude Petroleum.Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and Other Natural Gases.Civilian Aircraft Parts.Passenger Vehicles.
China leads the list of the world's largest exporter. Interestingly, of the top 10 leading exporting countries, 4 are from Asia, 5 from Europe and 1 from North America.
Australia exported $154 billion worth of iron ore last year, most of it to China, where it is a key ingredient in making steel and driving Beijing's economic stimulus.
For iron ore, it remained the largest supplier for China even when relations soured. In 2022, China bought 1.1 billion tonnes of iron ore, 65% of which were from Australia.
Top import sources
|Rank||Country||Share of overall imports|
Imports The top imports of Australia are Refined Petroleum ($19.6B), Cars ($18.8B), Delivery Trucks ($8.08B), Broadcasting Equipment ($6.68B), and Computers ($6.61B), importing mostly from China ($70B), United States ($25.7B), Japan ($15.3B), Thailand ($12.1B), and Germany ($11.6B).