Iron ore markets will stay positive: BHP
Mining giant BHP Billiton says China will continue to demand high-quality iron ore and new demand will emerge from immature economies such as India.
Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie told the company's annual general meeting that several of the group's commodities are currently trading above long-term price forecasts, but geopolitical uncertainty and protectionism could hinder trade and business confidence.
"However, our long-term view for markets remains positive," he said.
Population growth and rising living standards will drive demand for energy, metals and minerals for decades into the future, Mr Mackenzie said.
"New demand centres will emerge where the key levers of industrialisation and urbanisation are still immature, such as India," he said.
Although China's housing and automotive sectors are expected to weaken, its infrastructure sector will remain strong, he said, reinforced by China's plan to improve its trade links, known as the belt and road initiative.
China's desire to improve safety and the environment by making industry more efficient, especially steelmaking, is expected to generate high premiums for superior-quality iron ore, coal and copper, Mr Mackenzie said.