Winter restocking in China has disrupted steel prices across the iron ore complex with rebar futures down more than 3% during Tuesday’s session before slightly recovering, as coking coal also dropped. This hasn’t effected the spot iron ore price, or indeed Dalian futures which are treading water:
The fallout from the WA government’s cash grab on shippers in Port Hedland heated up again yesterday. Via the AFR:
The fees come as WA Premier Mark McGowan boasts of a strong financial position, which has been underpinned by soaring royalties from iron ore. The state expects to earn more than $8 billion in iron royalties in 2020-21.
They were told the fee would be used to pay for the state’s “Port Hedland Voluntary Buy-Back Scheme” (PHVBS), which was announced in June following a 2016 government report that concluded fewer people should live next to the port to reduce the health risks of being exposed to iron ore dust.
Under the scheme, the government plans to buy homes near the port in the town. located about 1300 kilometres north of Perth, and help pay for residents to move.
Shippers have been told that the new fee will be temporary and will be removed when the government finishes paying for costs associated with the relocations.
Melwyn Noronha, CEO of Shipping Australia, which represents national and international shipping lines, said it was “outrageous” that shippers were being forced to pay for the scheme given that WA earned billions of dollars in iron ore royalties.
Mr Noronha said dust from iron ore did not originate from ships, and that iron ore was “wet-loaded” into a ship’s hold.
“Iron ore dust is blown off iron ore stocks from the land-side transport and storage of iron ore,” he said. “As this charge has its origins in land-side dust pollution it should therefore be imposed on the land-side operators.” Ships entering Port Hedland already pay between $70,000 and $100,000 per vessel in other fees and charges, according to the industry group.