FOCUS: Last hurrah for Yandi fines - what next for low-grade iron ore?

BHP announced in 2018 that the depletion of its 80-million-tonnes-per-year Yandi mine in its Western Australia iron ore operations would begin from the second half of 2021. Fastmarkets explores how the low-grade fines landscape will adapt to the loss of this key brand.

1. How will the market move forward?
Some traders believe the depletion of the Yandi mine will most likely prompt market participants to turn to other available low-grade iron ore fines such as Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG's) Super Special fines (SSF) and Fortescue Blended fines (FBF).
A mill source from Japan believes the market will just have to adapt to the new market conditions, and that will most likely prompt buyers to rely on SSF and FBF.
A Singapore-based trader thinks the limited number of spot cargoes of Yandi fines offered in the market will most likely be bought up rather quickly because it still holds an advantage of having lower impurity content over the SSF and FBF.

A Hong Kong-based trader said the brand most closely matched with the Yandi fines supplied by BHP is Rio Tinto’s Yandicoogina fines, but this brand has not been seen much in...

Published

Alex Theo

June 30, 2021

11:38 GMT

Singapore