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

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UNHCR slams Brazil’s iron ore dam fixes

Via UNHCR today: Extractive industries 15. In January 2019, 270 people died when Vale’s Córrego do Feijão tailing dam in Brumadinho collapsed.13 Most of those killed were Vale workers having lunch in the cafeteria located directly below the tailings dam. The force of the toxic mud dismembered bodies, and shattered what was a bucolic community.


Gottiboff: Bow to China or it will crash your house price

Gottiboff has joined some dribble stains on his bib today: Australia must brace itself for the next round of the war of words and actions with China – an attack on the price of iron ore and the nation’s key revenue base. My China contacts tell me that the anger China is currently displaying over


Daily iron ore price update (softness)

Iron ore prices for September 7, 2020: Spot still strong. Paper too. China imported 100.4mt of iron ore in August: I still think we’re roughly at peak imports. Steel exports were buggered, as you’d expect: Empty apartment sales are softening:   To wit: China Evergrande Group kicked off a nationwide sales promotion with its deepest ever


Daily iron ore price update (empty apartments pile up)

Iron ore prices for September 4, 2020: CISA steel output remains outrageous: The key driver, empty apartment sales, remain strong: And it’s not just sales, it’s inventory, at SCMP: China’s biggest developer are likely to step up price discounting this year to clear a growing pile of unsold homes, with authorities sounding another alarm in their


Simandou not such a “Pilbara killer”

Via AFR comes an article titled China’s African iron ore adventure will be filler, not killer: China’s ambition to build an alternative iron ore industry in Africa will push down iron ore prices by a maximum of $US8 ($11) per tonne, hosing down suggestions it will be a “killer” for Australia’s biggest export industry. …SMB-Winning


Should Aussie miners be selling iron ore in yuan?

Via SCMP: Iron ore miners‘ and steel producers’ increasing use of the Chinese yuan will increase its internationalisation, reduce China’s vulnerability to any possible US financial sanctions, and help the domestic economy in line with the new “dual circulation” strategy. By using the yuan rather than the US dollar to price iron ore, this will


How Australia could break into civil war

Via the FMG true believers: Sitting atop a cash machine disguised as Australia’s third-largest iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Elizabeth Gaines was justifiably emphatic about the importance of Australia’s increasingly testy trade relationship with China. “We can’t lose sight that we are a trading nation,” she implored, adding that the miner “didn’t