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'Commodity re-stocking in China now complete': BHP Billiton boss

'Commodity re-stocking in China now complete': BHP Billiton boss

Sydney: BHP Billiton has broken a seven-year run of record profits, posting its first full-year fall since 2002 as the global financial crisis sliced 30 per cent from underlying earnings.
BHP boss Marius Kloppers, while explaining the results yesterday, touched upon trade with his most important partner, China.
"While demand in developed markets remains constrained, a brighter outlook has emerged recently from some developing countries," he said.
"China and India demand returned earlier than many expected, as those economies began to restock.
"In China, in particular, re-stocking coupled with stimulus package spending fuelled strong real demand in key commodity-intensive industries such as infrastructure, construction and real estate."
Looking ahead, however, Mr Kloppers warned that the true picture of global commodities demand was clouded by government stimulus spending and China's recent push to refill its warehouses.
"The commodity re-stocking in China now appears largely complete with substantial inventory build in specific commodities over the last three months," he said.
"We expect Chinese demand to more accurately reflect real end-user purchasing in the near term."
BHP's net profit after one-off costs slumped nearly 62 per cent to $US5.88 billion in the year to June 30, dragged down by big writedowns on the miner's loss-making Ravensthorpe and Yabulu nickel assets. [13/08/09]

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