FOCUS: Market eyes improved iron ore concentrate premiums in Q4

Market participants believe iron ore concentrate premiums - rather than those for high-grade fines - will improve closer to the onset of winter when Chinese steelmakers start to adapt to strict anti-pollution measures imposed by authorities.

Sintering restrictions usually cause demand for iron ore fines to fall compared to cleaner ore types. This is due to the higher levels of particulate pollution generated by sintering operations.
In contrast, pellet feed concentrates, pellets and lumps typically see higher demand because of the “greener" properties of direct-charge blast furnace feed, according to a buyer source from Beijing.
There have been no major sintering restrictions for most of 2020, except for a few routine ones in Tangshan during August. Therefore, versatile iron ore concentrates that have better sintering properties, such as the 65% Fe Minas Rio blast furnace pellet feed, saw healthy demand from Chinese mills.

The Brazilian concentrate has been “sold out” for all August-delivery cargoes, with transactions heard to be have been concluded at discounts of around $0.20-0.30 per tonne to Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 66% Fe concentrate, cfr Qingdao (equivalent to $105-116 per tonne)....

Published

Alex Theo

September 01, 2020

14:02 GMT

Singapore