FOCUS: Iron ore scrutiny in China shakes seaborne prices

The seaborne iron ore market plunged last week amid a sell-off of the steelmaking raw material’s futures triggered by heightened scrutiny in China on factors that have driven prices to their highest in five years.

Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 62% Fe fines, cfr Qingdao stood at $114.81 per tonne last Friday July 5, down $7.22 per tonne - or 5.9% - from a day earlier. The index was at just $63.14 per tonne a year earlier.
Unsurprisingly, the spotlight is being shone on the iron ore market by a group of steel mills in the country - the segment of the value chain that has found itself at the wrong end of this year’s price movements.
Last month, the China Iron & Steel Association (Cisa) called a meeting of mills to discuss the drivers of iron ore prices this year, sources told Fastmarkets.
Cisa is concerned about the “drastic fluctuation” in the iron ore market recently and has suggested that “market regulators” initiate necessary procedures to maintain “normal order,” it told Fastmarkets.

The steel body also said that it was of urgent...


Deepali Sharma

July 09, 2019

06:38 GMT