FOCUS: Chinese mills mull over return to iron ore blends amid surging coke prices

Many Chinese steelmakers switched up their sinter feed ratios to consist of more low and high-grade iron ore amid rising prices for mid-grade products in the third quarter, sources said.

This trend appeared short-lived when iron ore prices declined in the last couple of months but with coke becoming costlier in China, blends of low and high grades of iron ore appear to be making a comeback.
Surging iron ore prices in the third quarter pushed mills in China to switch from consuming primarily mid-grade fines to a blend of low and high grades. This was augmented by low port inventory levels for mid-grade products such as Pilbara Blend fines triggering concerns over a possible supply shortage against a background of stronger demand for steel in September and October, sources said.

Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 65% Fe Brazil-origin fines, cfr Qingdao rose to a year-to-date high of $143.30 per tonne on September 7. A week later, Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 62% Fe fines, cfr Qingdao also rose to $130.17 per tonne on September 14, its highest so far...


Alex Theo

Zihao Yu

November 03, 2020

15:58 GMT