Iron ore price

Iron ore price, steel price and futures published daily

The contemporary seaborne iron ore price first emerged in 2003 when the Chinese development model shifted up a gear. Indian suppliers broke free of an annual contract pricing system that had been dominated by Australia, Brazil and Japan for decades.

As Chinese demand surged, traditional supply and pricing mechanisms could not keep pace. Indian miners in Goa and Karnataka had surplus supply and filled China’s marginal new needs outside the old benchmarking system.

But it still wasn’t enough and other non-traditional suppliers began to emerge in South America and Africa. These needed more dynamic pricing mechanisms and by 2008 Platts, Metal Bulletin and The Steel Index were publishing a daily iron ore price.

As the Chinese demand surge continued, by 2007, major Australian iron ore miners were charging enormous premiums to prices from five years earlier. The annual benchmarking system began to strain to the point breaking, including significant diplomatic tensions between Australia and China. This culminated in a proposed merger of BHP and RIO Tinto which triggered panic in Beijing as it feared an already supply-constrained market and soaring iron ore price would by made worse by monopoly pricing. The Chinese SOE, Chinalco, moved the buy a blocking stake in RIO Tinto.

However, the GFC intervened and deflated tensions as Chinese demand collapsed. But Chinese steel mills found themselves still tied to very high prices and an annual iron ore price benchmark that did not reflect the new reality. Many defaulted on cargoes and walked away from deals.

To fight the downturn, China unleashed an enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus that soon had China building more than ever. The demand for iron ore rocketed to all new highs. With the memory of contract defaults fresh in their minds, major Australian miners, led by BHP and CEO Marius Kloppers, abandoned the annual benchmarks, forcing Chinese steel mills to adopt a short term iron ore price using spot and quarterly contracts. Brazil joined in in 2010.

The spot iron ore price soared to all new highs and triggered a global wave of new supply from producers such as Fortescue Metals Group, Ferrexpo, Kumba Iron Ore, Anglo American and Sino Iron.

With the rise of the short term iron ore price market, iron ore derivative markets grew. First in the Singapore on the SGX and later in China as the Dalian Commodities Exchange and the United States at Chicago Commodities Exchange (CME). Iron ore derivatives could hedge and future price iron ore output.

These last developments coincided with the peak in the China boom and prices began to fall from 2012. After peaking above $190 per tonne, the iron ore price collapsed into the $30s in 2015 as new supply outstripped demand.

Ahead were still many years of oversupply, a lower iron ore price, consolidation and mine closures.

Also Check – Australian Dollar

Find below our daily feed of market analysis

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Daily iron ore price update (running on empty)

Iron ore prices for Febraury 29, 2020: The miracle price boomlet goes on. Mills are restocking like zombies, via Bloomie: The collapse in economic activity amid China’s unprecedented measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak means there are few buyers of steel, which has sent prices tumbling and put margins under intense pressure. However it’s difficult

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UBS raises iron ore price outlook

Coronavirus leads to GDP downgrades The outbreak of the coronavirus has forced downward revisions to our GDP forecasts from our (US, China, & Global) economists (2020e GDP growth -20bp to 2.9%). The downgrades have been most severe in 1) China & 2) Q1 2020. While uncertainty over the severity and duration of the outbreak remains,

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Fortescue mines money

Here it is. El Dorado: The key, of course, is the realised price. Thanks Vale! At these kinds of prices, FMG is literally printing money. Roughly $7bn of it over the full year delivering a trailing P/E of just 5x. But is it sustainable? At 2019 prices, the profit is slashed in half and the

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UBS: Will demand or supply hit shape iron ore in 2020?

Via UBS: Checking in with Platts Steel Raw Material Analysts We hosted Paul Bartholomew (Senior Managing Editor, Steel Markets) and Jeffery Lu (Managing Editor, Met Coal) to discuss their respective markets and COVID-19. While the LT implications of the outbreak remain uncertain, the immediate impact on productivity is becoming apparent. Platts is concerned that the

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Of course the RBA is going to cut

Via the AFR: “You just have to look at the numbers of Chinese tourists and Chinese students that come to Australia – it’s significant – it’s in the millions,” JPMorgan Asset Management’s head of fixed income Bob Michele said. “Coming off the bushfires, and now with coronavirus, everyone is trying to estimate what the impact

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BHP warns it might warn

Via BHP just now: Six months ago, at the time of our full year results for the 2019 financial year, an air of prudent caution permeated commodity markets. On balance, events since that time have justified that caution. The result has been a mixed price performance by our key commodities.1 Demand for oil, metallurgical coal and copper was weaker

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Iron ore, coking coal bogged down across China

Via Argus: Chinese steelmakers remain partially blocked from shipping steel and steel feedstocks as a result of transport restrictions across provinces and at ports. Government officials restricted deliveries to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with the most stringent controls in Hubei province, eastern China’s Zhejiang province and neighbouring areas. Beijing has urged businesses to restart,

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Baltic Dry still pancaked

Via Reuters: * The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, rose 7 points, or 1.7%, to 418. * The main index slid to its lowest level since March 2016 in the previous session. * Demand has already been hit strongly in China, which accounts for

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Iron ore catches a bid, lifting Australian dollar

It’s not clear why but it’s looking pretty excited: There’s no news that I can find beyond some snippets from Brazil: For the first five working days of February, soybean exports declined to 198,600 tonnes per day on average from 263,500 tonnes per day for February 2019, according to Economy Ministry figures. Iron ore exports

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Sickening China waves off copper

Via the FT: Copper traders in China, the world’s largest buyer of the metal, have asked miners from Chile to Nigeria to cancel or delay shipments as the deadly coronavirus outbreak hits demand. …“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on copper demand as downstream users [involved in processing raw copper] have stopped acquiring raw material,”