Daily iron ore price update (marginal buyer)

Iron ore price for July 22, 2020:

Some material from Clyde Russell:

China imported 101.68 million tonnes of iron ore in June, a 33-month high, taking imports for the first half of 2020 to 546.91 million tonnes, up 9.6% over the same period in 2019.

Japan imported 5.08 million tonnes of iron ore in June, down 37.3% from the same month in 2019, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

South Korea imported 5.32 million tonnes in June, down from 7.03 million in the same month last year, while second-quarter imports were 17.2 million tonnes, a drop of 10.2% from the corresponding period in 2019.

The story is more dire in Europe, with June seaborne imports pegged by Refinitiv at 5.09 million tonnes, down 55.7% from the same month last year, while second-quarter imports of 18.98 million tonnes are 42% lower than for the same period in 2019.

Putting China’s strength and the rest of the world’s weakness together shows they largely cancel each other out.

True enough. But China is the marginal buyer and determines the price. It is still building many empty apartments:

With lots of restocking to do as well.

So long as supply remains constrained, the price will remain pressured upwards:

These days you can probably add a falling USD tailwind as well.

I remain comfortable that the price will be strong in Q3.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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