Iron ore volumes showing the pain?

Yesterday Port Hedland released its August shipping statistics including iron ore tonnages, which looked like this: Not bad but closer inspection throws up a few worries. August tends to be a down month but this year the fall is 9.3% versus half that in the previous two years. Volumes tend to be highest mid year


RBA index of commodity prices: yuck!

Late yesterday the RBA released its August Index of Commodity Prices: Preliminary estimates for August indicate that the index fell by 3 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.9 per cent in July (revised). The largest contributors to the fall in August were declines in the prices of


Coking coal still falling

From ANZ this morning: Newcastle FOB physical thermal coal were down 0.7% last week to USD88.41/t. Although Chinese domestic prices were steady, supported by the ongoing falls in coal inventories – Qinhuangdao stocks down 3.7% w/w. Expected supply disruptions are also supporting China’s domestic coal price, as scheduled maintenance is performed on the Daqin railway. Coking coal also fell 1.9% w/w


The long term price of iron ore

Here is today’s iron ore update: Hints of stabilisation on Friday but it’s still anyone’s guess if this is the bottom. I’m pretty skeptical so long as Chinese steel prices are still falling. Meanwhile my views on iron ore have been perfectly captured in a note by Ric Deverell, the widely respected head of commodities at


CISA puts the boot into iron ore price

Amid the dreadful iron ore coverage around the place today, there are a couple of articles worth reading. The first is from Bloomberg: China’s iron ore output probably fell about 10 percent this month as tumbling prices squeezed out costly producers and steelmakers used cheaper imports, the China Metallurgical Mining Enterprise Association said. Production will


Down, down, prices are down!

I was accused this morning of gloating over the accident that’s transpiring in Australia’s bulk commodities. Happily a bevy of readers came to my defence. But there is someone that is gloating over the accident and that’s FTAlphaville, which posted the following on the falling iron ore price today: We can laugh at ourselves can’t we?


Coking coal hits new low

From the ANZ today: Newcastle Sep coal futures lost 0.4% to USD89.9/t, while iron ore again fell heavily, losing 4.7% to USD90.3/t. Chinese steel prices continue to weigh on iron ore. Hot-rolled coil is nearing a month long losing streak, while the most active rebar contract on the SFE hit an all time low yesterday with open interest at record


Charlie Aitken defends the ore price

Via FT Alphaville comes this quote from Charlie Aitken: Right here right now the spot markets are in turmoil as Vale dumps cargoes, traders who have been caught long at higher prices cut that trading inventory, and Chinese steel mills sit on their hands and run down inventories. It is estimated that Chinese steel mill


Bloxo puts the commodities bull case

Paul Bloxham of HSBC  recently released a very good piece of research arguing that the global economy had made a structural shift towards emerging markets growth that would continue a powerful surge in infrastructure growth and support high prices for commodities for decades. I agreed with his note but disagreed with its conclusion, that this


Iron ore price assumptions collapse

By David Llewellyn-Smith The iron ore complex tanked again yesterday: Perhaps some hope in the contango with the 12month which did signal the bottom in last year’s crash: But Chinese steel prices are still falling too: Here are some choice iron ore quotes from Reuters: “We believe that China is in the middle of a


Pettis: Hard commodity prices will halve in 2 years

Excerpted exclusively from Michael Pettis latest newsletter: For the past two years, as regular readers know, I have been bearish on hard commodities. Prices may have dropped substantially from their peaks during this time, but I don’t think the bear market is over. I think we still have a very long way to go. There


All quiet on the iron ore price front

All quiet on the ore front yesterday with little movement anywhere (though swaps haven’t updated yet): As some buying support appears to be coming back into the market, I thought it worth revisiting a chart from Morgan Stanley from last year’s falls: Take a close look at the very sensitive relationship between the iron ore


Coking coal still sliding

From the ANZ: Newcastle FOB physical thermal coal prices were steady last week at USD89.05/t. Although market activity remained subdued, the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia should see more movement this week. Having hit a low of a low of USD81-82/t in late July, thermal coal prices have held up well. The same cannot be


Credit crunch seizes iron ore price

Friday’s ore price movements showed some stabilisation: With 12 month swaps catching a break, there is some hope that last’s week’s heavy dump was the capitulation phase for the ore price. There is not much hope in the fundamentals, however, with rebar falling to a new low and little discussion so far of Chinese steel-makers


“Keep taking the pills, Nev”

Fresh and cross-posted  from FT Alphaville, comes this unusually frank assessment of Fortescue and iron ore. Remember the joke about the $120 iron ore price floor? How we laughed. And for continued amusement here’s Nev Power, chief executive of Fortescue Metals,the highly-leveraged poster child of the Australian resources boom, discussing iron ore at Wednesday’s annual results announcement. From


And now for coking coal…

I have been a bit confused by some of the spot versus contract pricing going in the market for coking coal. It appears I got my quarters mixed up. From ANZ today, there’s clarity, sadly: Newcastle Sept coal futures fell mildly to USD91.5/t. China’s total coal imports fell 10.3% m/m to 20.2mt in July, but is still


Iron ore crash goes on

Ore got walloped and swaps got monstered again yesterday: Here’s the latest on market internals from Reuters: Shanghai steel futures hit a record low on Wednesday, exerting more pressure on prices of the raw material iron ore whose freefall has forced Chinese steel producers to skip contracted cargoes. Chinese mills, the world’s biggest iron ore


End of an era for iron ore?

The world steel association released its July production report overnight and the news is not especially good: World crude steel production for the 62 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 130 million tonnes (Mt) in July 2012, an increase of 2.0% compared to July 2011. China’s crude steel production for July 2012