BHP, the world's biggest mining company, says China's demand for iron ore is declining.
BHP, the world's biggest mining company, says China's demand for iron ore is declining. Peter Holt

China's demand for iron ore falling

FEARS of a hard economic landing for China were reignited as BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, yesterday said that the country's appetite for iron ore, which is used in steel production, is declining.

The president of the mining giantis iron ore division, Ian Ashby, said: "The [Chinese] economy is shifting, it's changing. Steel growth rates will flatten and they have flattened. The big infrastructure build clearly will come to an end."

Mr Ashby also predicted that iron ore demand from China would hit "single digits, if it's not already there".

The warning over the growth prospects of the world's second-largest economy prompted a sell-off in equity markets. Miners were the worst fallers on the FTSE 100, with BHP Billiton sliding 83p to 1,935p while Rio Tinto was 150p lower at 3,464.5p.

Brenda Kelly, a senior strategist at CMC Markets, said: "The effects of a China slowdown are all too apparent in European equity markets."

Benchmark copper prices meanwhile fell nearly 2 per cent.



Concerning number of drug drivers caught in highway blitz

Concerning number of drug drivers caught in highway blitz

Spreading the road safety message was priority for police

INSIDE STORY: CEO reveals life within council during sacking

premium_icon INSIDE STORY: CEO reveals life within council during sacking

During the sacking Sean Madigan had a front-row seat to history

Police look for answers to highway tragedy

premium_icon Police look for answers to highway tragedy

Witnesses saw accident victim's car swerve before crash

Local Partners