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A surprise increase in 2016 margins: Global iron ore supply summary

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Report summary

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.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    A surprise increase in 2016 margins: Global iron ore supply summary

    PDF 436.89 KB

  • Document

    2016 Global Summary upload.xls

    XLS 2.62 MB

  • Document

    2016 Iron ore global supply summary fiscal data.xls

    XLS 137.50 KB

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    A surprise increase in 2016 margins: Global iron ore supply summary

    ZIP 1.07 MB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Key companies
  • Reserves and resources
  • Production
  • Quality
  • Costs
  • Margins
  • Fiscal terms

Tables and charts

This report includes 26 images and tables including:


  • Attributable marketable production by key company
  • 2016 split of attributable marketable production
  • 2016 Global operating margin curve (US$/tonne)
  • 2016 Global total cash cost curve (US$/tonne) FOB / ex mine
  • Average total cash cost 2009 – 2030 (US$/tonne, nominal to 2016 real thereafter)
  • Delivered iron ore cash costs, CFR North China 2016 US$/dmt 62% Fe fines equivalent
  • Costs: Image 4


  • Australia
  • Fiscal terms: Table 2
  • Fiscal terms: Table 3
  • Fiscal terms: Table 4
  • Chile
  • Fiscal terms: Table 6
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Fiscal terms: Table 10
  • Mauritania
  • Peru
  • Republic of Congo
  • Fiscal terms: Table 14
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Fiscal terms: Table 18
  • United States

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