Insight

High-grade iron ore premium set to fall with coking coal prices

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Report summary

High coking coal prices have incentivised Chinese steel producers to purchase more high-grade iron ore fines. As a result, the price gap between high-grade and low-grade fines has widened to a four year high. This insight explores the rationale of this phenomenon by analysing the cost of ironmaking in three different Fe grade scenarios. When coking coal prices are high, steelmakers can reduce costs by using more high-grade iron ore fines. However, we believe the generous premium enjoyed by high-grade iron ores could be short-lived and looks set to diminish for two reasons. Firstly, we expect coking coal prices to ease. Secondly, high-grade iron ore supply will increase much faster than supply of other iron ore grades.

What's included

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  • Document

    High-grade iron ore premium set to fall with coking coal prices

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • High-grade iron ore premium boosted by rise in coking coal prices
  • Met coal contributed more to cost increase than iron ore in 2016
  • Low-grade ore consumes more coke
  • Low-grade scenario costs more when coking coal is expensive
  • Iron ore fines premium set to fall

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:

Images

  • Spread between high- and low-grade fines in relation to coking coal price
  • Iron ore fines 65% Fe to 62% Fe
  • Met coal share of ironmaking costs
  • Met coal contributes more to the increased ironmaking cost (RMB/tonne)
  • Consumption rates for the three scenarios
  • Breakdown of cost changes among the three scenarios with a high coking coal price (RMB/thm)
  • Breakdown of cost changes among the three scenarios with a low coking coal price (RMB/thm)
  • Supply of high-grade ore will increase much faster than the overall supply
  • Iron ore price outlook for iron ore fines

Tables

  • Consumption rates based on three different sinter blends

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