Average seaborne iron ore breakeven prices have fallen to US$30/tonne (CFR China, 62% Fe fines basis) in 2016, a 16 % reduction compared with last year and a more than 50% decline since 2011. We expect 2016 will mark the low point for breakeven prices because of rising sea freight and fuel costs. We also expect strip ratios and sustaining capital expenditure to creep higher, which will increase breakeven prices. The rise in costs will be more pronounced at the top end of the cost curve as low-cost expansions and sustainable cost reductions by Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton will offset some of the uncontrollable cost increases for these low-cost producers. The attached Excel file contains breakeven data by asset and company from 2009 to 2025, along with total cash costs, freight assumptions, sustaining capex and VIU adjustments.
Table of contents
FMG will struggle to sustain its low breakeven price
Russian breakevens are not sustainable
Breakeven price definition and methodology
Tables and charts
This report includes 1 images and tables including:
Breakeven prices of the four majors (US$/dry tonne, CFR China 62% Fe fines basis, real 2016)