What can we expect from the iron ore market in the near future?
Our latest podcast focuses on our iron ore short-term outlook
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Iron ore prices exhibited an unexpected show of strength in late November, with prices lifting towards US$70/t CFR by the end of the month. In our latest podcast, Alex Griffiths, Senior Analyst of Global Iron Ore and Steel Markets and Rory Townsend, Research Analyst for our Institutional Investor Service, discuss some of the themes shaping our short-term iron ore outlook.
The Global Iron Ore Market Long-term Outlook provides detailed supply and demand analysis and price forecasts for the iron ore market to 2035. Having averaged $86/t in Q1 our CY17 forecast of $68/t CFR implies an average price of $62/t for the rest of the year. Our view is that the disconnect between iron ore prices and costs is unsustainable and the inevitable margin compression is more likely to come from falling prices than rising costs. We think 2018 will mark the low point of the iron ore cycle with prices averaging $52/t in real terms. Prices need to fall to the low-$50/t range and remain there for several months to force out excess high cost supply. From 2019/20 a gradual price recovery is expected as a more concentrated industry structure leads to enhanced pricing power and positive "cost push". Incentive price analysis indicates long run price support around $60/t CFR (real 2017 terms) effective from 2025.