Daily iron ore update

Iron ore charts for Jan 10th 2014

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So another rough night for ore. Swap still falling, as is spot, and it looks as though the $130 mark is in danger. Futures are hoovering on lows as is steel. Given the seasonality and the Chinese New Year I wouldn’t expected to see much lift until February, but it’s the longer term that has markets worried and that’s coming through in the miners.

Worries about China continue to weigh on the nation’s biggest iron ore miners, despite the release of record shipping figures.

Shares in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group are under pressure for the fourth straight day as concerns about a slowdown in China overshadow positive data released by the Port Hedland Port Authority yesterday.

Total exports at Port Hedland, in WA, totalled a record 29.9 million tonnes in December, an increase of 12 per cent on the same month in 2012.

The strong result came despite the closure of Australia’s biggest iron ore port as Cyclone Christine swept across the Pilbara last month.

Ongoing buoyancy in the iron ore price has also failed to boost the sharemarket performance of the big mining houses as the steel making ingredient trades above $US133 per tonne.

Since January 1, Fortescue Metals shares have lost nine per cent of their value, while Rio has shed 4.5 per cent and BHP is 3.5 per cent lower.

Mid-cap iron players Atlas Iron and BC Iron haven’t escaped unscathed, recording losses of 10 per cent and nine per cent, respectively, over the same period.

IG market analyst Evan Lucas said that despite the significant boost in shipments at Port Hedland, iron ore pricing in Australian dollar terms fell by more than three per cent in 2013.

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