Australian shipments of iron ore to China from Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the world’s seaborne trade, rose 6.5 percent to a near-record in October, port data showed.

The increase to 31.71 million tonnes in October veersus 29.77 million in September, according to Pilbara Ports Authority, came as prices steadied over the period, albeit close to the five-year low mark set in late September.

The price see-sawed between $83.10 $78.60 in October.

Benchmark 62 percent iron ore for immediate delivery into China <.IO62-CNI=SI> was last quoted at $77.80 per tonne.

Over the same month last year, when iron ore sold for over $130 a tonne, shipments totaled 25.20 million tonnes.

The record for shipments to China was set at 32.03 million tonnes in August 2014, according to the port authority.

Australia’s biggest producers, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton both reported record iron ore output in their latest quarterly reports, and affirmed they were on track to boost production even further. {ID:nL3N0S96D0]

No. 3 producer Fortescue Metals Group, shipping up to 155 million tonnes annually, is looking to make more incremental increases to output.

On July 1, the Port Hedland Port Authority amalgamated with the port of Dampier, creating what it says will be the largest bulk export tonnage port in the world bsed in the Australian Pilbara iron belt.

BHP and Fortescue ship from Port Hedland, while Dampier port is one of two in the Pilbara iron ore belt used by Rio Tinto. The other is Cape Lambert.

Shipments from Dampier in October were not immediately available.