Iron Ore Exports by Country

Iron Ore Exports by Country

Iron ore smelter

Iron ore is in demand for construction projects around the world. Global sales from iron ore exports by country amounted to US$71.8 billion in 2016.

Overall, the value of iron ore exports were down by an average -45.4% for all exporting countries since 2012 when iron ore shipments were valued at $131.5 billion but rose by 4.1% from 2015 to 2016.

Australia was responsible for over half (55%) of all iron ore exports by value. Latin America (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries accounted for 20.7% worth of iron ore exports, followed by European suppliers at 8.3%, African exporters at 5.8%, Asian suppliers at 5.5% and North American exporters at 4.8%.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for iron ore is 2601.

Iron Ore Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of iron ore during 2016:

  1. Australia: US$39.5 billion (55% of total iron ore exports)
  2. Brazil: $13.3 billion (18.5%)
  3. South Africa: $3.6 billion (5%)
  4. Canada: $2.9 billion (4%)
  5. Ukraine: $2.3 billion (3.2%)
  6. Sweden: $1.6 billion (2.2%)
  7. Netherlands: $1.1 billion (1.5%)
  8. India: $1 billion (1.4%)
  9. Iran: $834.7 million (1.2%)
  10. Chile: $828.6 million (1.2%)
  11. Malaysia: $814.4 million (1.1%)
  12. Russia: $802.3 million (1.1%)
  13. United States: $569.4 million (0.8%)
  14. Mauritania: $503.7 million (0.7%)
  15. Kazakhstan: $386.7 million (0.5%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 97.5% of all iron ore exports in 2016 (by value).

Among the above countries, only Malaysia increased its iron ore exports since 2012, appreciating by 132.3%.

Kazakhstan led the decliners with a -84% drop, followed by Russia (down -67.8%), United States (down -60.5%), Netherlands (down -59%) and India (down -58.5%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for iron ore during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s iron ore exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. Australia: US$39.5 billion (55% of total iron ore exports)
  2. Brazil: $13.3 billion (18.5%)
  3. South Africa: $3.6 billion (5%)
  4. Canada: $2.9 billion (4%)
  5. Ukraine: $2.3 billion (3.2%)
  6. Sweden: $1.6 billion (2.2%)
  7. Netherlands: $1.1 billion (1.5%)
  8. India: $1 billion (1.4%)
  9. Iran: $834.7 million (1.2%)
  10. Chile: $828.6 million (1.2%)
  11. Malaysia: $814.4 million (1.1%)
  12. Russia: $802.3 million (1.1%)
  13. United States: $569.4 million (0.8%)
  14. Mauritania: $503.7 million (0.7%)
  15. Kazakhstan: $386.7 million (0.5%)

Australia has the highest surplus in the international trade of iron ore. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms The Land Down Under’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for iron ore during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s iron ore import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. China: US-$57 billion (net export surplus down -40.4% since 2012)
  2. Japan: -$7.3 billion (down -61.6%)
  3. South Korea: -$4 billion (down -57.5%)
  4. Germany: -$2.4 billion (down -54.9%)
  5. Taiwan: -$1.3 billion (down -49.6%)
  6. France: -$756.6 million (down -57.5%)
  7. Turkey: -$680.1 million (down -39.1%)
  8. Netherlands: -$643.1 million (down -44.6%)
  9. United Kingdom: -$570.5 million (down -56.3%)
  10. Saudi Arabia: -$558.3 million (down -61.2%)
  11. Italy: -$513 million (down -71.7%)
  12. Belgium: -$443.1 million (down -46.7%)
  13. Czech Republic: -$378.3 million (down -52.7%)
  14. Poland: -$342.5 million (down -44.8%)
  15. Slovakia: -$332.5 million (down -45%)

China incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of iron ore. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights China’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for iron ore-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand from the highly industrialized Chinese economy.

Companies

Iron Ore Exporting Companies

Below are the world’s largest iron ore conglomerates and major iron ore exporting companies. Show within parenthesis is the country where the company is headquartered.

  • BHP Billiton (Australia)
  • Rio Tinto (United Kingdom)
  • Vale (Brazil)
  • Glencore International (Switzerland)
  • Anglo American plc (United Kingdom)
  • ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg)
  • Fortescue Metals Group (Australia)
  • Severstal (Russia)
  • Vedanta Resources (United Kingdom)
  • Evraz Group (United Kingdom)

Searchable List of Iron Ore Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankExporter2016 Iron Ore Exports% World Total
1.AustraliaUS$39.5 billion55%
2.Brazil$13.3 billion18.5%
3.South Africa$3.6 billion5%
4.Canada$2.9 billion4%
5.Ukraine$2.3 billion3.2%
6.Sweden$1.6 billion2.2%
7.Netherlands$1.1 billion1.5%
8.India$1 billion1.4%
9.Iran$834.7 million1.2%
10.Chile$828.6 million1.2%
11.Malaysia$814.4 million1.1%
12.Russia$802.3 million1.1%
13.United States$569.4 million0.8%
14.Mauritania$503.7 million0.7%
15.Kazakhstan$386.7 million0.5%
16.Venezuela$353.8 million0.5%
17.Peru$343.8 million0.5%
18.Mongolia$201.7 million0.3%
19.Philippines$115.9 million0.2%
20.United Arab Emirates$90.2 million0.1%
21.Bahrain$89.5 million0.1%
22.Liberia$82.8 million0.1%
23.Oman$81.3 million0.1%
24.North Korea$74.6 million0.1%
25.Norway$63.1 million0.1%
26.China$57 million0.1%
27.Myanmar (Burma)$45.6 million0.1%
28.Vietnam$42.1 million0.1%
29.Indonesia$31.6 million0.04%
30.Turkey$17.6 million0.02%
31.Laos$13.3 million0.02%
32.Finland$11.7 million0.02%
33.Trinidad/Tobago$11.2 million0.02%
34.France$9 million0.01%
35.Argentina$7.6 million0.01%
36.Bulgaria$5.2 million0.01%
37.Albania$5.1 million0.01%
38.Qatar$5 million0.01%
39.Germany$3.8 million0.01%
40.Pakistan$3.5 million0.005%
41.Slovakia$2.6 million0.004%
42.Bosnia/Herzegovina$2.3 million0.003%
43.Czech Republic$1.7 million0.002%
44.Thailand$1.6 million0.002%
45.Morocco$1.6 million0.002%
46.United Kingdom$1.4 million0.002%
47.New Caledonia$1.4 million0.002%
48.Mozambique$1.2 million0.002%
49.Belgium$945,0000.001%
50.Azerbaijan$869,0000.001%
51.Mexico$820,0000.001%
52.Egypt$527,0000.001%
53.Singapore$331,0000.0005%
54.Serbia$185,0000.0003%
55.Rwanda$142,0000.0002%
56.Japan$98,0000.0001%
57.Zimbabwe$86,0000.0001%
58.Poland$61,0000.0001%
59.Romania$54,0000.0001%
60.South Korea$52,0000.0001%
61.Spain$50,0000.0001%
62.Italy$46,0000.0001%
63.Bolivia$25,0000.00003%
64.Namibia$19,0000.00003%
65.Kuwait$14,0000.00002%
66.Yemen$8,0000.00001%
67.Estonia$7,0000.00001%
68.Lithuania$6,0000.00001%
69.Tunisia$6,0000.00001%
70.Slovenia$6,0000.00001%
71.Switzerland$4,0000.00001%
72.Austria$3,0000.000004%
73.Colombia$2,0000.000003%
74.Kyrgyzstan$2,0000.000003%
75.Greece$1,0000.000001%
76.Nigeria$1,0000.000001%
77.Fiji$1,0000.000001%
78.Gabon$1,0000.000001%
79.Botswana$1,0000.000001%
80.Macedonia$1,0000.000001%
81.Tanzania$1,0000.000001%
82.Uzbekistan$1,0000.000001%


See also Iron Ore Imports by Country, Australia’s Top 10 Exports and Australia’s Top Import Partners

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Wikipedia, Iron ore mining companies. Accessed on May 15, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 15, 2017