Iron Ore Exports by Country

Iron Ore Exports by Country

Iron ore smelter

International sales of iron ore exports by country amounted to US$94.9 billion in 2017, down by a third (-33.6%) from 2013 when iron ore shipments were valued at $143 billion. In contrast, globally exported iron ore gained 30.8% from 2016 to 2017.

Australia was responsible for roughly half of all iron ore exports by value. Latin America (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries accounted for 22.1% worth of iron ore exports, trailed by European suppliers at 9.1%, Asian exporters at 6.4%, African suppliers at 6.1% then North American exporters at 4.5%.

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 2017:

  1. Australia: US$49.3 billion (51.9% of total iron ore exports)
  2. Brazil: $19.2 billion (20.2%)
  3. South Africa: $4.8 billion (5%)
  4. Canada: $3.5 billion (3.7%)
  5. Ukraine: $2.6 billion (2.7%)
  6. Sweden: $2.3 billion (2.4%)
  7. Netherlands: $2 billion (2.1%)
  8. Russia: $1.6 billion (1.7%)
  9. Iran: $1.4 billion (1.5%)
  10. India: $1.1 billion (1.1%)
  11. Chile: $1 billion (1.1%)
  12. Malaysia: $893.4 million (0.9%)
  13. United States: $752 million (0.8%)
  14. Oman: $734.8 million (0.8%)
  15. Mauritania: $620.2 million (0.7%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 96.6% of all iron ore exports in 2017 (by value).

Among the above countries, only Malaysia increased its iron ore exports since 2013, appreciating by 92.4%.

Mauritania cut back on its iron ore imports from Australia by -51.1%, followed by the United States (down -49.3%), South Africa (down -43.4%), Oman (down -41.7%) and Brazil (down -40.9%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for iron ore during 2017. 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$49.3 billion (net export surplus down -27.9% since 2013)
  2. Brazil: $19.2 billion (down -40.9%)
  3. South Africa: $4.7 billion (down -43.6%)
  4. Canada: $2.9 billion (down -17.2%)
  5. Ukraine: $2.6 billion (down -26.5%)
  6. Sweden: $2.3 billion (down -22.9%)
  7. Iran: $1.4 billion (down -7%)
  8. Russia: $1.1 billion (down -34%)
  9. Chile: $998.2 million (down -27.4%)
  10. India: $670.2 million (down -54.5%)
  11. Mauritania: $620.2 million (down -51.1%)
  12. Kazakhstan: $475.1 million (down -69.7%)
  13. Peru: $426.7 million (down -50.2%)
  14. Venezuela: $331.6 million (up 26.5%)
  15. Mongolia: $273.4 million (down -58.2%)

Australia has the highest surplus in the international trade of iron ore. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms the country nicknamed 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$75.7 billion (net export deficit down -28.7% since 2013)
  2. Japan: -$9.7 billion (down -44.5%)
  3. South Korea: -$5.5 billion (down -34.5%)
  4. Germany: -$3.4 billion (down -35.2%)
  5. Taiwan: -$1.8 billion (down -37%)
  6. France: -$1.3 billion (down -31.6%)
  7. Turkey: -$967.1 million (down -10%)
  8. Egypt: -$855.5 million (up 26.1%)
  9. Indonesia: -$854.5 million (reversing a $119 million surplus)
  10. Saudi Arabia: -$849.3 million (down -29.6%)
  11. United Kingdom: -$786.1 million (down -55.5%)
  12. Belgium: -$692.5 million (down -24.5%)
  13. Italy: -$667.2 million (down -53.5%)
  14. Poland: -$578.8 million (down -15.5%)
  15. Spain: -$551.9 million (down -27.2%)

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.

RankExporter2017 Iron Ore Exports% World Total
1.AustraliaUS$49.3 billion51.9%
2.Brazil$19.2 billion20.2%
3.South Africa$4.8 billion5.0%
4.Canada$3.5 billion3.7%
5.Ukraine$2.6 billion2.7%
6.Sweden$2.3 billion2.4%
7.Netherlands$2 billion2.1%
8.Russia$1.6 billion1.7%
9.Iran$1.4 billion1.5%
10.India$1.1 billion1.1%
11.Chile$1 billion1.1%
12.Malaysia$893.4 million0.9%
13.United States$752 million0.8%
14.Oman$734.8 million0.8%
15.Mauritania$620.2 million0.7%
16.Kazakhstan$510.1 million0.5%
17.Peru$426.7 million0.4%
18.China$422.4 million0.4%
19.Venezuela$331.6 million0.3%
20.Mongolia$273.4 million0.3%
21.Sierra Leone$260.8 million0.3%
22.Vietnam$178.7 million0.2%
23.Bahrain$172.2 million0.2%
24.North Korea$103.4 million0.1%
25.Norway$85.4 million0.1%
26.Myanmar (Burma)$80 million0.1%
27.Liberia$71.4 million0.1%
28.Philippines$67.3 million0.1%
29.United Arab Emirates$65.3 million0.1%
30.Turkey$43.6 million0.05%
31.Indonesia$27.3 million0.03%
32.Laos$23.1 million0.02%
33.Qatar$16.4 million0.02%
34.Finland$16.2 million0.02%
35.Czech Republic$13.3 million0.01%
36.Trinidad/Tobago$12 million0.01%
37.Bulgaria$8.3 million0.01%
38.Germany$7.6 million0.01%
39.France$5 million0.01%
40.Bolivia$4.4 million0.005%
41.Pakistan$3.7 million0.004%
42.Albania$3.1 million0.003%
43.Spain$2.8 million0.003%
44.Swaziland$2.6 million0.003%
45.Egypt$2.4 million0.003%
46.Mexico$2 million0.002%
47.Denmark$2 million0.002%
48.Slovakia$1.9 million0.002%
49.Morocco$1.9 million0.002%
50.Argentina$1.8 million0.002%
51.Poland$1.7 million0.002%
52.Bosnia/Herzegovina$1.6 million0.002%
53.Belgium$1.4 million0.001%
54.Hungary$1.4 million0.001%
55.United Kingdom$768,0000.001%
56.Uganda$440,0000.0005%
57.Guyana$320,0000.0003%
58.Singapore$315,0000.0003%
59.Serbia$309,0000.0003%
60.Luxembourg$208,0000.0002%
61.Italy$170,0000.0002%
62.Zimbabwe$149,0000.0002%
63.Thailand$106,0000.0001%
64.Papua New Guinea$84,0000.0001%
65.Kuwait$63,0000.0001%
66.South Korea$57,0000.0001%
67.Lithuania$52,0000.0001%
68.Japan$45,0000.00005%
69.Rwanda$40,0000.00004%
70.Algeria$29,0000.00003%
71.Paraguay$20,0000.00002%
72.Namibia$18,0000.00002%
73.Tanzania$13,0000.00001%
74.Kenya$13,0000.00001%
75.Slovenia$11,0000.00001%
76.Yemen$9,0000.00001%
77.Azerbaijan$8,0000.00001%
78.Democ. Rep. Congo$7,0000.00001%
79.Honduras$7,0000.00001%
80.Greece$4,0000.000004%
81.Belarus$4,0000.000004%
82.Côte d'Ivoire$3,0000.000003%
83.Nigeria$3,0000.000003%
84.Cuba$2,0000.000002%
85.Estonia$2,0000.000002%
86.Fiji$1,0000.000001%
87.Bangladesh$1,0000.000001%
88.Austria$1,0000.000001%
89.Ghana$1,0000.000001%
90.Senegal$1,0000.000001%
91.Switzerland$1,0000.000001%
92.Zambia$1,0000.000001%


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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 18, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 18, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 18, 2018

Wikipedia, Iron ore mining companies. Accessed on May 18, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 18, 2018