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Weekly iron ore wrap-up: IODEX sees first rise in nine days - 16 April 2012

Spot iron ore prices started last week on a muted tone. Trading was thin on Monday as the market was awaiting looser monetary policies to spur steel consumption in China. The re-emergence of BHP Billiton in the spot market was seen Tuesday after a near-two-week absence due to holidays. The miner sold a Capesize of 62.7% Fe Newman and 57.5% Fe Yandi fines at $151.16/dry metric tonne and $136.51/dmt CFR Qingdao.

A flurry of medium-low grade iron ores was concluded at firmer price Tuesday, after Indian miner Fomento Resources sold 140,000 tonnes of 57% Fe Indian fines to Focus Trading through a tender at $115/dmt FOB Goa.

Platts 65% Fe price assessment gained 25 cents after Rio Tinto sold 65% Fe South African Palabora concentrates at $158.10/dmt CFR China, which was up from the previous cargo at $157.50/dmt CFR China on March 30.

Platts IODEX 62% Fe assessment increased by $1.50/dmt to $151.25/dmt CFR north China on Wednesday, its first rise in nine days. This came as Rio Tinto sold a Capesize cargo of 61% Fe Pilbara Blend fines and 62.5% Fe PB lumps at $149.18/dmt and $156.18/dmt CFR China to Noble Resources. Market views on the repeatability of this spot deal were mixed, but there was talk that traders are taking positions in anticipation of stronger steel and ore prices as construction activity gained stronger traction.

The last two days of the week saw quiet trading, as players were awaiting developments at a forthcoming steel conference in Qingdao for clearer market direction.

The Steel Index’s reference price for 62% Fe fine ore ended last week at $149.4/dmt CFR Tianjin, up $1.40/dmt on the previous seven days. TSI reported that two cargoes of Indian 63.5/63% Fe fines were concluded on Thursday at above $153/dmt, and the same grade was offered by an Indian miner at $156/dmt on Friday.


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