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.

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Find below our daily feed of market analysis

4

China mulls more steel curbs

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1

Lombard: Chinese greening to hammer iron ore, coals

TSLombard with the note. Last September, Xi Jinping surprised the world by announcing two ambitious climate goals: that China would reach peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Beyond the headline carbon objectives, the green initiative is an important domestic tool to bolster government efforts to centralize political power and allocate

4

Chinese property developer Minsky moment intensifies

China’s Three Red Lines policy for deleveraging property developers has pushed the largest and most highly geared to the edge of extinction. Everngrande is fighting on, pulling every string that it can: At least two of Hong Kong’s biggest lenders are reconsidering halts on mortgages for China Evergrande Group’s unfinished properties, after the decisions were

2

Daily iron ore price update (hammered)

The ferrous complex was half-hammered on Thursday 22, 2021 as iron ore gave way, paper kept falling overnight but steel jumped again: The same explanation is on offer from Reuters: Chinese iron ore futures fell for a fourth consecutive session, down more than 7% to their lowest levels in nearly three weeks, on prospects of

18

Is the Bitcoin bubble inflating iron ore?

Check out this fantastical piece of speculation by Gordon Johnson of GLJ research: WHAT’S UP? While Evergrande’s bonds and equity trended up in the China Thursday trading session on news it resolved an issue with the bank that froze its accounts, this is PEANUTS in the grand scheme of things – while Evergrande has $107bn of B/S

5

Evergrande morphs into iron ore Lehman Brothers

Evergrande. Remember the name. The Chinese megadeveloper is rapidly morphing into some kind of Chinese ‘Lehman Brothers moment’. The Three Red Lines policy that is designed to deleverage large developers has triggered this latest round of crisis. Evergrande is preposterously leveraged with its equity worth less than 10% of enterprise value, owing to huge debts

4

Vale readies iron ore deluge

Vale is out with its Q2 production report. According to Bloomie, it’s a disaster: The world’s second-largest iron producer churned out 75.7 million metric tons in the second quarter compared with the 78 million-ton average estimate among analysts tracked by Bloomberg. The result was still up from both the previous three months and the Covid-impacted year-ago period.

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RIO to ramp iron ore output

RIO’s Q2 productio report: Pilbara operations produced 152.3 million tonnes (Rio Tinto share 126.9 million tonnes) in the first half of 2021, 5% lower than the first half of 2020 due to above average rainfall, shutdowns to enable replacement mines to be tied in, processing plant availability and cultural heritage management. Ongoing COVID 19 restrictions

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UBS: Iron ore to drop as glut emerges

UBS with the note: China steel mills restrictions could result in ~75Mt less iron ore demand in 2H… Press reports suggest China is imposing more restrictive measures on steel production in 2H21 to ensure output is lower y/y and to meet carbon emissions goal. MySteel reports Baowu is drafting its own plan to cut volumes

36

Should Australia keep building Xi’s tyrannical “wall of steel”?

From Xi Jinping last week: China’s strongman leader Xi Jinping has threatened a “wall of steel” will confront any country that tries to bully his rising power. Thousands of comrades cheered President Xi as he struck an aggressively nationalistic tone during a major speech on Thursday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist

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Daily iron ore price update (Rennie rout)

The ferous complex was weak yesterday for no apparent reason as spot fell, paper fell more overnight and steel eased: Perhaps it was yesterday’s Twitter assault by Westpac Robert Rennie which made a good case for a major price correction in H2: 2.Steel prices have dropped sharply from May record highs. Indeed, rebar down 18/20%