Mackenzie's walking into a low-cost showdown

The BHP Billiton boss is understandably keen to talk up the demand side of the commodities equation but it's supply where the real challenge lies. And that's where productivity comes in.

It is perhaps understandable that much of the reaction to Andrew Mackenzie’s first speech in Australia as BHP Billiton’s chief executive should be focused on his optimistic forecasts of global demand for commodities. There was, however, another dimension to his outlook.

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