THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 16:26
BHP Billiton says increased supply is causing commodity prices to fall and it expects that trend to continue in the short term.
Chairman of the world's largest miner, Jac Nasser, said in the group's annual report that lower rates of investment across the resources sector would ultimately lead to more balanced markets.
"We maintain a positive outlook over the long term as the fundamentals of wealth creation, demographics and urbanisation continue to create demand for commodities across Asia and other markets,” Mr Nasser said.
He reinforced the company's confidence in the future of the fertiliser potash, following its recent commitment to a further $US2.6 billion ($A2.78 billion) investment in its Canadian Jansen Potash Project.
"A growing population and improving incomes in emerging economies means the longer-term outlook for potash, a fertiliser that improves the yield and quality of agricultural production, is strong,” he said.
He said the company had performed well in a volatile and uncertain year for global economies.
BHP's net profit fell by 30 per cent in fiscal 2013 to $US10.9 billion and it lifted its full-year dividend by four per cent to $US1.16 per share.
Most of its profits came from iron ore, petroleum and copper.
Mr Nasser said the company's overall safety performance continued to improve but noted that three BHP workers had lost their lives at work during the year.
New chief executive Andrew Mackenzie will be paid a base salary $US1.7 million, compared to predecessor Marius Kloppers' $US1.2 million.
He also receives a pension of 25 per cent of that salary, short term incentives of up to 240 per cent of his base salary and long term bonuses up to 400 per cent, which is a face value of $US6.8 million.
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