Commodity Market Report

Global iron ore short-term outlook February 2018



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Report summary

News that Northern Chinese regions plan to extend blast furnace utilisation restrictions had the peculiar effect of boosting iron ore prices this month. This might seem counter-intuitive – lower pig iron production equals lower demand for iron ore. But in a tight steel market, restricting supply means higher steel prices and margins – and this flows through to raw materials. But the effect of the policy will end in late March/early April. We should then see Chinese steel prices ease and that will ultimately flow through to iron ore.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Global iron ore markets short-term outlook data February 2018.xls

    XLS 413.50 KB

  • Document

    Global iron ore short-term outlook February 2018

    PDF 369.10 KB

  • Document

    Global iron ore short-term outlook February 2018

    ZIP 555.83 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Chinese blast furnace cuts – what's happened?
    • Indian ore - Goa, Goa, gone!?
    • Pellet feed – it's harder than it looks!
    • Key quarterly forecast
    • Capesize spot freight rates, US$/wmt, to China (Beilun/Baoshan)
    • Quarterly iron ore production - selected companies (Mt, 100% basis)
    • Quarterly indicators: iron ore trade, crude steel and hot metal production (Mt)

Tables and charts

This report includes 18 images and tables including:


  • Key forecast data
  • Prices: Table 1
  • Prices: Table 2
  • Key companies: Table 1
  • Supply-demand balances: Table 1
  • Forecast data: iron ore trade and hot metal production (Mt)


  • Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports, by source
  • Utilisation rate at Chinese iron ore mines
  • Trade of iron ore, monthly volume
  • Trade of iron ore, monthly y/y change
  • Steel production, monthly y/y growth
  • BF utilisation rate in Tangshan, China
  • Chart 1: Goan ore – a smaller share of a smaller pie.
  • Chart 2: India is now a relatively insignificant supplier to China.
  • Chart 3: Minas Rio pellet feed versus 65% Fe fines price.
  • Chart 4: Minas Rio pellet feed versus 62% Fe fines price.
  • Quarterly mine production
  • Q3-17 year-on-year production change

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