Fortescue to work with China officials to clear iron ore shipments

Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group said on Thursday it will work with Chinese authorities to resolve a delay that has held up customs clearance of some iron ore cargoes at a port in the country’s north.

Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting sources that two iron ore cargoes from the world’s No.4 supplier were facing unusual customs delays at north China’s Caofeidian port due to inspections for solid waste.

Responding to a question on whether Fortescue was expecting further customs checks, its director of sales, marketing and shipping, Vivienne Tieu, said shipments to the port were relatively small and its product was still reaching customers.

“We will just work through with the relevant port authorities to understand what they need, such that we clear the cargoes as soon as possible,” she told a results briefing.

The delays come as Fortescue and Chinese state iron ore buyer China Mineral Resources Group (CMRG) – set up in July 2022 to centralise purchasing and gain more bargaining power with global mining firms – negotiate a 2024 procurement deal.

Tieu declined to comment on the negotiations due to commercial sensitivities.

(By Melanie Burton; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)