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Shipments during the month represent a 5% increase from the volume recorded in November.

China, the world’s largest iron ore consumer, accounted for 24.16 million tonnes of the December shipments, up 8.3% from November. It was also the second-highest volume shipped to the country from Port Hedland in a month. It compares with the historical high of 25.2 million tonnes recorded in October 2013.

Exports to Japan totalled 2.07 million tonnes, down 3.9% from November, while those to South Korea amounted to 2.02 million tonnes, down 2.9% on the month.

Iron ore shipments to Taiwan slipped by 1.5% from November to 422,584 tonnes.

Port Hedland also shipped 173,856 tonnes of iron ore to Hong Kong, and 171,021 tonnes to Singapore, its first shipment to the island republic in 2013.