Commodity Market Report

Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

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26 February 2021

Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

Report summary

The iron ore boom continues. This month saw the spot 62% index hit $175/t, its highest since September 2011, while the 65% index hit $200/t, just $5 below the all time high set in January 2011. Production costs are much lower now than they were in the last boom, meaning that margins are at record levels. But for how long will this bonanza last? If Chinese demand growth continues on this trajectory then we’re in for another bumper year because capacity constraints and heightened ESG risk will limit a meaningful near term supply response to China’s voracious appetite for seaborne ore. We still think supply and demand will become more closely aligned as the year progresses, but we are now coming from a much higher base. Price forecast revisions will be published in late March with the Q1-2021 Long Term Outlook.

Table of contents

    • Chinese steel and pig iron production – still growing!
  • The world ex-China – back from the abyss
  • Seaborne supply – who can fill the gap?
  • If not the majors then who?
  • Chinese production - high, but for how much longer?
  • Can Indian government policies ease supply tightness?
  • Ten year high!
  • High grade premiums - even higher!
  • Technical indicators
  • Dry bulk freight market

Tables and charts

This report includes 20 images and tables including:

  • Seaborne exports of iron ore from Australia
  • Seaborne exports of iron ore from Brazil
  • Production utilisation rate of 126 Chinese iron ore mine companies
  • Production utilisation rate of different regional Chinese iron ore mine companies
  • Indian iron ore exports
  • Iron ore price-monthly
  • Iron ore price spreads
  • Key quarterly forecast
  • Fibonacci Retracement Levels
  • Tubarao – Qingdao freight rate
  • West. Australia - North China freight rate
  • Capesize spot freights, US$wmt, to China (Beilun/Baoshan)
  • Iron ore loadings from W. Australia to China, Mt
  • % share of loadings to China
  • Chinese iron ore port inventory, Mt
  • Chinese iron ore port inventory, Mt
  • Quarterly indicators: iron ore trade, crude steel and hot metal production (Mt)
  • Quarterly iron ore production - selected companies (Mt, 100% basis)
  • Pig iron daily production of CISA member companies
  • Crude steel daily production of CISA member companies

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - February 2021

    PDF 1.01 MB