Iron ore prices relaxing on rising supply & more aggressive sales?

Initially pricing a premium for low inventories in China and uncertain seasonal weather conditions…

Iron Ore Futures Contracts - SGX

…at key iron ore exporters in Q1 (e.g. cyclone season in Australia), SGX iron ore futures contract for month+2 delivery started the year at 143.5$/t, then progressively eroded with a slow yet steady recovery of inventories in China. The descending momentum has accelerated after Lunar New Year holidays in Asia with prices dropping ~10% since last week to 119$/t.

On the supply side, thanks to mild weather condition at exporters and countries such as India or Ukraine accelerating seaborne exports, global iron ore shipments rose above 5-year seasonal highs in recent weeks. With 11 OECD countries in economic recession (incl. Japan & Germany) in 4Q’23 and a steady deterioration of steel production margins that led to titanic M&A’s within the global steel industry at the end of 2023, iron ore prices are adapting and miners became inclined to push sales more aggressively than in previous years!

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