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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Daily iron ore price update (brace!)

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Daily iron ore price update (commodity crazy town)

The ferrous complex has joined the commodity crazy town engulfing global markets. Everything was up on January 12, 2022: Commodity crazy town is here: A falling US dollar based despite Fed tightening. Strong US inflation. Chinese stimmies and OMICRON disruptions driving more inflation. This will now be a battle to the death between stagflationist robots


Daily iron ore price update (to the moon!)

The ferrous complex was strong on January 11, 2022 as everything jumped: Encouraging bulls, steel production launched in late December: Even more bullish, mill steel inventories plunged over the period. However, I’d suggest that this is largely thanks to traders snapping up steel stocks amid the mad rush. I will add that it is likely


Daily iron ore price update (seasonal help)

The ferrous complex was weak on January 10, 2022 as everything eased: There is some seasonal help coming from Brazil: Heavy rainfall in the iron ore hub of Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil, led to mining and railing disruption for Vale and other operators, supporting a recovery in benchmark China iron ore import prices. …Vale,


Daily iron ore price update (Olympic swing)

Iron ore prices continue to recover in the new year with spot prices up more than 2% as demand increases before the cut off of steel production during the Olympics:   More from Iron ore prices are rising on expectations of a recovery in Chinese demand after the Beijing 2022 Olympics next month. Top


Daily iron ore price update (China wants it all)

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Daily iron ore price update (steel demand falls)

There were slight pullbacks across the iron ore price complex on Wednesday in China, with spot prices cooling off 2% or so, while futures also pulled back: “(Steel demand) is gradually shifting from the peak season to the off-season cycle, and consumption is expected to gradually pull back from the previous month,” Huatai Futures analysts


Daily iron ore price update (shipments increase)

Prices continued to push higher on Tuesday, with futures across Chinese and Singapore markets lifting for a fourth session in row, with demand hopes still lingering. But domestic rebar and coking coal futures slipped instead:   More on the sentiment and the burgeoning iron ore stockpile: “Once again, the direction, momentum and quantum of iron


Daily iron ore price update (demand hopes rise)

The iron ore complex is one market that is properly rallying going into Christmas and the Chinese New Year with spot prices up nearly 5% to cross the $120 barrier again for a new three month high. Singapore futures rose nearly 7% on Monday but local Dalian futures were off 1%: It’s all about the


Daily iron ore price update (stockpiles mount up)

Friday saw iron ore prices zoom to a new seven week high, putting in a fourth straight weekly gain, as hopes about a recovery in steel demand fostered speculation on Chinese markets. Dalian futures also rose, almost hitting $700 intrasession while rebar bounced back. However, reports that stockpiles of imported iron ore rose above 156


Daily iron ore price update (steel slipping)

Spot iron ore prices lifted slightly in China yesterday, with steel futures hitting a one-week high but the continued decline in steel production saw a 2% drop in Dalian iron ore futures. Meanwhile, steel output in China continues to slip: China’s full-year crude steel output in 2021 is expected to reach 1.04 billion tonnes, falling


Daily iron ore price update (high grade to nowhere)

The iron ore complex saw spot prices pullback while coking coal and rebar futures lifted on supply concerns yesterday. Interesting read from Stockhead regarding the push away from coking coal for the steel industry, as the decarbonising movement rolls on, lowering emissions will mean a big shift to super high grade iron ore – problem


Daily iron ore price update (port inventories spike)

The iron ore complex saw a big move higher on Monday with spot prices up more than 6% on a recent pledge by the Chinese government to “focus on economic stability”, giving a big boost to the demand outlook.   Meanwhile, Westpac are seeing their forecasts for iron ore moving down again: Our forecasts have iron