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Inquiry threat into Australian iron ore industry

Steel-making commodity is the nation's largest export with Australia accounting for 60% of the world's sea-borne supplyThe huge iron ore industry in Australia faces the threat of a parliamentary inquiry amid claims the world’s biggest miners, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, are flooding the market to wipe out smaller competitors. The steel-making commodity is the nation’s largest export with Australia accounting for 60 percent of the world’s sea-borne supply, and the slumping price has hit government revenues hard. Budget figures last week showed that Australia’s forecast tax receipts will be cut by Aus$52 billion (US$41.6 billion) over the four years to 2017-18, largely driven by the plunging iron ore price. The price weakness has been exacerbated by the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity — BHP, Rio, and Brazil’s Vale — who make up the majority of the market and have kept lifting production levels to maintain or even lift their export share despite slower growth in Chinese demand.

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