Fortescue defies global pandemic to post record profit

SYDNEY (Xinhua) – Australian mining giant, Fortescue Metals Group, posted a record profit for the previous financial year, on the back of sustained demand from Chinese buyers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company revealed yesterday.

Boosted by elevated prices for Fortescue’s main export, iron ore, which is used to make steel, the company’s profit soared 49 per cent to USD4.73 billion for the 12 months ending June 30.

During that period, Fortescue exported 178.2 million tonnes of iron ore, the vast majority of which went to China, with revenue from China alone totalling over USD12.1 billion.

In January 2020, Fortescue opened a new office in Shanghai following the successful establishment in 2019 of a wholly owned Chinese sales entity, FMG Trading Shanghai, with the aim of providing directly to Chinese customers in smaller volumes and using the local currency.

In a statement to investors, Fortescue expressed that strength in Chinese demand was expected to continue as the country bounced back from COVID-19, pushing forward with large scale construction projects.

“We anticipate continued recovery in China’s economic activity and remain confident in the Chinese government’s commitment to urbanisation, which will continue to underpin long-term demand for iron ore,” the company said.

The company said that as the home to three out of the world’s four largest iron ore producers, Australia’s own economic recovery post-COVID-19 was greatly boosted by continued strength in the trade of iron ore between the two countries.