Marius Kloppers,
CEO, BHP Billiton
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 November 2009 – BHP Billiton Limited “’ the world’s largest mining company and a world-class business with a diverse range of products, customers and markets,”’ remains “cautious” on the global economy in the short- to medium-term, says company CEO Marius Kloppers.
Restocking in developed economies has been “somewhat slow to start, and has actually been quite lethargic to date,” the 47-year-old executive said in a speech to the Lowy Institute here. Kloppers had said last month that there were signs of restocking in major economies as steel output outside China rose.

“We have seen strong demand recovery in our sector, driven mainly by China,” Kloppers continued. “The Asian nation this year has had “surprisingly strong commodity purchasing activity,” he said. Part of the rebound was because of restocking, he added.

“Notwithstanding the short-term uncertainty in markets, the long-term growth prospects for resources are strong with demand growth driven by developing countries, in particular China and India,” Kloppers said, echoing comments made by his Chairman Don Argus last month.

Australian mineral exports to China and India may rise by US$17 billion (R126 billion) by 2015 should the country maintain its share of demand growth, Argus had said.