Which Country Exports the Most Iron Ores and Concentrates in the World?

Iron Ores May 28, 2018
Blog Blog  /  Mining  /  Iron Ores
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

In 2016, approx. 1,540M tonnes of iron ore were exported worldwide; rising by 3% against the previous year figure. Overall, it indicated a remarkable expansion from 2007 to 2016: the total exports volume increased at an average annual rate of +6.9% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, iron ore exports increased by +82.8% against its level of 2007. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010, when export increased by 15% year-to-year. Global iron ore export peaked in 2016, and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

In value terms, iron ore exports amounted to $73B in 2016. In general, iron ore exports continue to indicate a prominent increase. Over the period under review, global iron ore exports reached its maximum level of $147B in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Iron Ore Exporting Countries in the World

1. Australia (39.7 billion USD)

2. Brazil (13.3 billion USD)

3. Ukraine (4.7 billion USD)

4. South Africa (3.6 billion USD)

5. Canada (2.9 billion USD)

Iron Ore Exports By Country

Australia (853M tonnes) represented the key exporting country with an export of about 853M tonnes, which finished at 55% of total exports. It was distantly followed by Brazil (374M tonnes), making up 24% share of total iron ore exports. South Africa (65M tonnes), Ukraine (50M tonnes), and Canada (41M tonnes) followed a long way behind this figure.

Australia was also the fastest growing in terms of the iron ore exports, with a CAGR of +12.9% from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, Ukraine (+10.2%), South Africa (+8.4%), Canada (+4.2%), and Brazil (+3.7%) displayed positive paces of growth. While the share of Ukraine (-1.9%), South Africa (-2.2%), Brazil (-6.8%), and Australia (-36.9%) decreased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Australia ($40B) remains the largest iron ore supplier in the world, making up 54% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Brazil ($13B), with the share of 18% of global exports. It was followed by Ukraine, with the share of 6%.

In Australia, iron ore exports stood at an average annual rate of +12.6% over the period from 2007-2016. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates: Brazil (+2.6% per year) and Ukraine (+19.4% per year).

Iron Ore Export Prices By Country

The average iron ore export price stood at $48 per tonne in 2016, dropping by -23.8% against the previous year. In general, iron ore export price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2010, when export increased by 55% year-to-year. Global iron ore export peaked of $124 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

There were significant differences in the average export prices amongst major exporting countries. In 2016, the country with the highest export prices was Ukraine ($95 per tonne), while Brazil ($36 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of iron ore export prices was attained by Ukraine (+8.4% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Do you want to know more about global iron ore market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • iron ore market share
  • iron ore prices
  • iron ore industry
  • iron ore sales
  • iron ore import
  • iron ore export
  • iron ore market forecast
  • iron ore price forecast
  • key iron ore producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 2601 - Iron ores and concentrates; including roasted iron pyrites.

Source: World: Iron Ores And Concentrates - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025