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


ASX staggers as Australian dollar goes ballistic

A currency shock is being unleashed upon Australia: How high it goes is anybody’s guess. I still say low 82-83 cents with DXY falling further yet as EUR powers on. But everything is sure getting overheated. Dalian is falling: The ASX is staggering under the load. Big Iron is trying but can’t get far: Big


Fortescue’s discounting disaster deepens

FMG is up today in the general excitement over commodities: But its quarterly production report was a bit of a disaster: Fortescue has released its June 2017 quarterly production results, reporting shipments of 44.7 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore. Cash production costs (C1) were a record US$12.16 per wet metric tonne (wmt), a 15


Daily iron ore price update (surge)

Iron ore price charts for July 25, 2017:   Tianjin benchmark jumped $2.80 or 4.2% to $69.70. Paper is at new breakout highs overnight. Steel is holding up. Coking coal is along for the rise. A bunch of positives converged yesterday. Samarco is going nowhere: Brazilian iron ore pellet producer Samarco’s return to operations has been delayed


Daily iron ore price update (restock)

Tianjin benchmark fell 20 cents to $66.90. Paper took off overnight. Steel is stable. Restock ongoing. From Reuters: Stocks of rebar SH-TOT-RBARINV, mostly used in construction, added 2.34 million tonnes over the last week to 372.7 million tonnes, according to the SteelHome data. That’s ringing the bell at the top.


Daily iron ore price update (down)

Iron ore price charts for July 21, 2017: Tianjin benchmark down 20 cents to $67.10. Paper down. Steel is slowing fading. Port stocks are rising again with prices as expected, up 750kt tonnes last week to 140.45mt. I still expect the restock to persist a little while longer but we appear to be at the


Daily iron ore price update (cooked)

Iron ore price charts for July 20, 2017: Tianjin benchmark sank $2.20 to $67.30. Paper flamed out and fell sharply overnight. Steel eased. The rally looks cooked to me. We’ll probably bounce around $70 for a while as Chinese mills complete their restock but there’s just no reason to drive it higher here. Supply is flooding


Big Banks trample APRA pansies

Dalian has just flopped into the positive today: With Big Iron down a little: Big Gas is up a bit as one of Australia’s most evil firms, STO, gouges the entire east coast for better profits: Big Gold is still sickening: Big Banks are trampling the APRA pansies: As Big Liar trades sideways: Another ethicists


More predictions of Chinese scraptastrophe

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Daily iron ore price update (woohoo)

Iron ore price charts for July 18, 2017: Tianjin spot climbed $1.30 to $68.20. Paper kept going overnight. Steel has not updated. Coals are powering. We’re off the hook again. At least this time is has some underpinning with Chinese realty holding up well. I has further to run given inventories: Could be another month


FMG adds mine as RIO keeps minnows in business

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Another coking coal supply shock?

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Daily iron ore price update (boom!)

Iron ore price charts for July 17, 2017: Tianjin benchmark pinned its ears back up 2% to $66.80. Paper kept running hard overnight. Same for coking coal. Looks like we’re going to take a run to $70. This time there is justification. Yesterday’s data showed no ill-effects from tightening. Steel output is monstrous: Even if


Australian dollar coiled spring as ASX warms

Dalian is weak today: But Big Iron firm: Big Gas has finally caught a bid as the oil short covering rolls on: Big Gold trends still look a little sad: Big Bubble is firm just because: And Big Liar: Market of the day is the AUD/USD which remains a coiled spring at long term resistance


When will iron ore hit miners. Rio edition

Via Goldman: RIO – precariously balanced RIO has been one of the best performing large-cap mining companies over the past 12 months driven by rising commodity prices, rapid balance sheet deleverage and early mover advantage in capital returns. However, RIO’s fortune remains heavily intertwined with its largest commodity – iron ore. And here is the