Global iron ore prices continue

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

On Thursday, our major iron ore miners faced increased pressure as global prices remained under duress. During daytime trading, iron ore experienced further decline this week, with China's economic outlook once again exerting influence as futures approached the critical $US100-a-tonne mark.

The commodity plunged over 5% in Singapore at one point but managed to recover slightly, closing at $US105.15 a tonne, down 3.8% by day's end. At its lowest, the price for 62% Fe fines dropped to $US103.45 a tonne, marking its lowest level since late 2023.

BHP shares declined over 1.3%, Fortescue shares lost 1%, while Rio Tinto shares gained 1.3% on Wednesday.

Iron ore prices on the SGX fell 11.3% in February, with this month's losses accumulating to over 18%.

Although prices on China’s Dalian exchange dipped during the day session, they rebounded in overnight trading to close around 815 yuan a tonne, up from the day session's close of 807 yuan a tonne.

The price for the current April futures contract has plummeted by 8.7% since last Friday’s close of $US115.18, extending a slide from over $US140 a tonne in early January amid concerns over China’s weakening demand.

Steel consumption, especially in construction, failed to surge as anticipated in March, particularly following the Lunar New Year. Blast furnace capacity utilization rates have dropped below 90%, indicating that many mills are operating at or near loss-making levels.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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