A while ago, a friend sent me an article via WeChat, talking about the top 10 careers that would disappear in the e-era. On top of the list is “journalist,” and I tried to understand the real agenda behind my friend’s action, a tease or a gentle reminder.
My attendance of BHP Billiton’s formal launch of its Prospects blog on Sept. 1 has made me realize that it could have been a gentle reminder after all. No pressure, but she nudged me to think in the long run.
At the event, Arnoud Balhuizen, BHP Billiton president, marketing and supply, and Huw McKay, vice president, analysis and economics, were the two main speakers, sharing their view on China’s economy and BHP Billiton’s development strategy with iron ore, of course, being the primary focus.
Unlike many analysts in China, the world-class iron ore mining company still holds the belief that China’s steel production has yet to plateau, and it will take another 10 years for China’s steel output to reach its peak, which has set the tone for its iron ore sales and marketing in that the most populous country will continue to be its core market for the steelmaking raw material sales.
At the same time, the company is also well aware of the surplus in iron ore supply and the existence of those low-cost potential iron ore miners that have yet started sending their materials to China.
BHP Billiton, thus, has stopped injecting any long-term funding into the ferrous mining since 2011-2012. What it has been striving to do in the past couple of years is to lower its costs in iron ore operations, so as to stay competitive and relevant in the world’s largest iron ore market.
Besides, BHP has been planning its diversification into other business sectors with oil and copper being identified still with possibilities and market potentials.
McKay shared their analysis, including expectations for electrical cars to be growing steadily in the next two decades, with its proportion in the total auto industry to rise to 8% by 2035 from the 1% as of 2015, but there is no denying that such a development will call for other sector’s coordination, such as infrastructure construction for charging stations for these cars, and will also lead to profound effects on the oil industry.
All the viewpoints were shared openly and were very interesting, but the problem is that there is not much news for me to write up, not when all these have immediately been available in full version at the company’s blog, and I find it hard to beat the blog post either in completeness or richness in content.
Frankly speaking, though, BHP Billiton has not been the first enterprise in the steel and iron ore industry to resort to public information sharing applications. Some Chinese companies such as Qingdao Port Group in east China’s Shandong province has been using its WeChat account to share its happenings since 2015 when WeChat became a must-have app among Chinese mobile users.
It is time for me to figure out how to secure my job when all these apps make it so easy and fast for companies to share their news to millions of audience, as they have, after all, all the first-hand information. I guess I will have to try out to justify my value by providing a more comprehensive coverage, linking all the relevant happenings in the industry to show the audience a bigger picture with my expertise.