Commodity market report

Global iron ore short-term outlook May 2017

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Report summary

Iron ore took another big hit in May, starting the month at $70/t and finishing at $58/t. The benchmark 62% index has now dropped 40% since peaking at $95/t in mid-February. Having fallen so far so fast, calling iron ore's next move is no longer the one-way bet that it was in March and April. But fundamentally we think the price correction has further to run as steel production growth moderates over the coming months at a time when growth in low cost seaborne supply is accelerating.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Iron ore STO Datafile May 2017.xls

    XLS 409.00 KB

  • Document

    Global iron ore short-term outlook May 2017

    PDF 417.62 KB

  • Document

    Global iron ore short-term outlook May 2017

    ZIP 600.38 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Steel surge
    • What does this mean for iron ore?
    • Chinese imports of iron ore – the story so far...
    • 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:


  • Chart 3: Implied mill margin
  • Chart 4: Iron ore price
  • Steel production, monthly y/y growth
  • BF utilisation rate in Tangshan, China
  • Trade of iron ore, monthly volume
  • Trade of iron ore, monthly y/y change
  • Iron ore inventory at Chinese ports, by source
  • Utilisation rate at Chinese iron ore mines
  • Chart 1: port stocks – high and rising!
  • Chart 2: Australia's market share in China has peaked.
  • Quarterly mine production
  • Q1-17 year-on-year production change


  • 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)

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