Commodity Market Report

Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

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30 October 2020

Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

Report summary

Prices averaged $120/t in October - the first monthly decline since the peak of the pandemic in April. Is this a sign of things to come? We think the gentle easing since mid-October will persist through Nov/Dec, but not by enough to meet our previous Q4-2020 forecast of $100/t (now revised to $110/t). Supportive factors in the short term include: - ongoing strength in Chinese hot metal production - Vale may keep shipments below production to rebuild inventory - falling Chinese mine supply through the winter - weather related disruption to supply chains in Australia and Brazil. Longer term we still think prices have further to fall and we remain concerned by the growing imbalance between steel production and consumption in China. The property sector holds the key!

Table of contents

  • Chinese steel and hot metal production continues to soar
  • but we believe the risk of steel oversupply is rising
  • Vale achieves strong Q3 output but full year guidance is in doubt
  • Chinese domestic iron ore supply is weakening
  • Indian steel mills make strong comeback
  • Iron ore production continues to struggle from Odisha region
  • Indian exports backed by inventories and firm international prices
  • Under pressure, but should hold above $100/t through Q4
  • Chinese steel market exuberance presents a risk
  • Chinese ban on Australian coal imports could the same happen to iron ore?
  • Technical indicators suggest support at US$107/tonne
  • Dry bulk freight market

Tables and charts

This report includes 18 images and tables including:

  • Brazilian rainfall: iron ore production weighted 7-day accumulation – 4-week Moving Average
  • Utilisation rate of 126 iron ore mine companies
  • Spreads between domestic concentrate and portside seaborne iron ore
  • Indian iron ore exports
  • Fibonacci Retracement Levels
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI)
  • Key quarterly forecast
  • Monthly Tubarao - China (Open-High-Low-Close)
  • Monthly West Australia - China (Open-High-Low-Close)
  • Capesize spot freights, US$wmt, to China (Beilun/Baoshan)
  • Iron ore loadings from West Australia to China, Mt
  • % share of loadings to China
  • Chinese iron ore port inventory, Mt
  • Chinese iron ore port inventory, Mt
  • Seaborne exports of iron ore from Australia
  • Seaborne exports of iron ore from Brazil
  • Quarterly indicators: iron ore trade, crude steel and hot metal production (Mt)
  • Quarterly iron ore production - selected companies (Mt, 100% basis)

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Iron ore markets - short-term outlook - October 2020

    PDF 1.00 MB