Global seaborne export margins are estimated to be US$24.30/tonne for 2016 as a whole. However, in December 2016, with iron ore prices of more than US$70/tonne, average seaborne export margins are US$45/tonne - the highest since 2014. This is a pleasant surprise for producers but is not likely to last. Price volatility will continue and we expect prices to average below US$50/tonne over the next two years and seaborne margins to fall below US$20/tonne. Average global total cash costs have fallen an estimated 8% over 2016 to US$27/ tonne. However we expect costs to gradually increase over the next few years as fuel prices rise and productivity gains become more difficult to achieve. Our estimated average capital intensity for 2016 is US$122/tonne, down from US$149/tonne in 2015. Any new projects that are approved will be at a much lower capital intensity than in previous years.
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Country report | Dec 2016
A surprise increase in 2016 margins: Global iron ore supply summary
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