And here they come. UBS on FMG: Downgrade to Sell: iron ore fundamentals deteriorating faster than expected We downgrade FMG to Sell (from Neutral), cutting our target to A$15/sh (from A$18/sh). Since peaking in July, the stock is down 34% while the iron ore price has more than halved. At spot (~$113/t) FMG still generates
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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The ferrous complex was in free fall on September 16, 2021 as spot and paper collapsed. Steel has not updated: Yes, we will likely be at $100 tomorrow. I was not bearish enough. There is no end is sight. CISA early September steel output data kept on falling: And the Chinese property developer shakeout is
The ferrous complex was very weak again yesterday as China’s construction hard landing became obvious. Spot tumbled and paper fell more overnight. Steel has not updated: Worse is still ahead. $100 this year and $60 next with all the risk being to downside for earlier. Some folks don’t get it. Jevons Global at Livewire: Trite
A few weeks ago in Liyang Star City, Kunming City, China, we saw this: The blasting involved 15 high-rise residential buildings in the second phase of Liyang Star City, Kunming City, China. The project was unfinished due to a break in the developer’s capital chain. At the end of last year, the local government restarted
The ferrous complex was weak again on September 14, 2021 as spot fell, paper fell further overnight and steel is looking toppy worldwide: The PBoC tightened futures limits again and Evergrande is going bust. Enough said. Perhaps more importantly, the China property developer bust is transpiring just as the global post-COVID steel boom tops out.
Clearly, Goldman Sachs is still too long commodities: Growing scarcity across physical markets. Since last October, policymaker and investor focus has remained on the vaccine-driven demand recovery from the deepest recession on record. Yet today, physical goods demand has reached such high levels — above pre-pandemic trends in all but oil — that the system
The ferrous complex was mixed on September 10, 2021 as spot fell, paper was flat but steel lifted: Chinese iron ore inventories are rising again, hitting 131mt last week: That China has rising iron ore inventories amid crashing prices tells us all we need to know about the slackness in the market. The cartel knows
The soft bailout of Evergrande has begun: Regulators in Beijing have signed off on a China Evergrande Group proposal to renegotiate payment deadlines with banks and other creditors, paving the way for a temporary reprieve as the cash-strapped developer struggles to come to grips with more than $300 billion of liabilities. China’s Financial Stability and
You have to forgive me this week. I’m sick (not COVID). Should be back next. Below find the latest wrap of everything China and commodities. Needless to say, it is playing out precisely as foreseen with a growing growth scare beginning to take down commodity prices and increasingly threatening all bloated markets. Chinese authorities remain
The ferrous complex was mixed on Friday 3rd of September 2021: In news, China wants more ore: China’s iron ore producers aim to increase domestic iron ore concentrate output by more than 100 million tonnes between 2021 and 2025, an official with the country’s steel industry association said on Saturday. Luo Tiejun, the vice-chairman of
The CBA has opted for the glass-half-full approach to steel and iron ore: “For iron ore prices to find meaningful support again, we would need to see policy on China’s steel output cuts relaxed,” he says. “That’s not as unlikely as it seems, especially if steel prices lift notably. We think that’s completely plausible given
The ferrous complex was weak again on September 2, 2021 as spot fell more and paper held on: There is now an iron ore glut. It is everywhere you look. FMG grade discounts are blowing out: As iron ore prices have fallen from record highs, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has seen the return of significant
The ferrous complex was smashed on September 1, 2021 as spot cratered, paper held and steel tumbled: News was all about more output cuts: Production restrictions in various regions have continued to advance, and there are signs of increasing efforts. Due to the strengthening of dual control of energy consumption, the Guangxi region has imposed
The national accounts for the June quarter revealed that Australia’s terms-of-trade (ToT) hit its highest ever level, surpassing the September 2011 peak: That is likely to the be as high as the ToT gets, however, with the RBA’s commodity price index for August registering a 6.0% decline in SDR terms after hitting a record high
The ferrous complex continued its huge counter-trend rally on August 27, 2021 as spot jumped and paper launched: This is still classic bear market action. Iron ore jumped with every other commodity on the something for everyone Powell speech. However, I still expect real steel demand to keep on falling ahead as Chinese construction slows
Stay short iron ore. Why? Nomura explains: Executive summary Beijing’s recent regulatory blitz on several sectors, including off-campus tutoring and internet platforms, has garnered investor attention. However, markets may have become so focused on the regulatory storm that they ignore the elephant in the room: Beijing’scurbs on the property sector, which makes up one-quarter of
The ferrous complex was mixed on May 26, 2021 as spot lifted but paper fell. Still waiting for steel: In news, the Baltic Dry is singing about booming supply: Momentum has been building in the spot market for capesize bulkers for the past week and on Monday it finally happened — average day rates crossed
The ferrous complex was firm again on August 25, 2021 as spot and paper lifted. Steel has not updated: CISA data for mid-August is out and gave us a decent rebound though still down year on year: This is to be expected emerging from seasonal weakness. However, I expect output volumes to remain materially below
TSLomberd with the note: We buy a basket of five ‘green steel’ stocks: ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp, SSAB, Fortescueand Voestalpine (MT NA, TKA GR, SSABA SS, FMG AU, VOE AV), equally weighted at 20% each relative to selling the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF. While the green steel movement is still nascent today–saddled with high initial
The ferrous complex launched on August 24, 2021 as the flushed out bottom of last week turned higher with gusto as expected. Spot and paper boomed. Steel has still not updated: From a contact, the action was all speculation: 09:55:30 The credit meeting. PBOC Governor Yi Gang hosted a meeting yesterday regarding monetary and credit
The ferrous market continued to sink on August 23, 2021 as spot fell and paper kept going overnight. Steel has not been updated: There’s no respite for iron ore. Nor should there be. The glut means the price needs to fall to the highest marginal cost producer somewhere around $80, at best. The more interesting
I keep saying it. Chinese infrastructure investment has a problem. Authorities have been trying half-heartedly since May to get local governments borrowing but they just won’t: The slow pace of borrowing by local governments in China and curbs on the property market mean the economy will receive less of a boost this year from infrastructure