Sign up for a free trial
The reminder has been sent to your registered email address.
Once prepared by the design team, the site tour can be embedded here.
27 March 2015
Seaborne iron ore prices continued to move down on Friday March 27, as traders lowered offers amid a depressed market.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures continued to fall during early trading on Friday March 27, after the release of data showing a drop in industrial profits in the country over the first two months of 2015.
26 March 2015
Iron ore operations at Chile’s Compañía de Acero del Pacífico (CAP) have been affected by an intense storm that struck the country’s northern regions on the night of Tuesday March 24.
The international over-the-counter (OTC) iron ore market saw 62% Fe prices drop on Thursday March 26.
Norway-focused iron ore miner Northern Iron has adjusted its financing and offtake arrangements for the second quarter amid growing funding concerns, it said on Thursday March 26.
FMG has defended so called 'cartel' comments – calling on iron ore producers to work together to bring down output – made by chairman Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest this week.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices weakened on Thursday March 26 on subdued market sentiment.
Seaborne iron ore prices weakened on Thursday March 26 as sentiment was dampened further by deals done at lower levels on trading on platforms and losses on the futures market.
China’s Citic has reported a HK$19.5-billion ($2.5-billion) impairment charge at its Sino Iron project in Western Australia for 2014 on battered iron ore prices and a “subdued” property market.
China’s steel and iron ore futures fell further during early trading on Thursday March 26, tracking the drops in the spot market.
25 March 2015
The gap between imports and exports between China and Latin America in the steel value chain widened last year due to the drop in prices of raw materials, the region’s steel association, Alacero, said on Wednesday March 25.
Japan’s Sumitomo Corp will accept an impairment of around ¥65 billion ($543.2 million) in its Brazilian iron ore joint venture, Mineração Usiminas, it said on Wednesday March 25.
Mineração Usiminas, the mining arm of Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas, has asked MMX to revoke an iron ore exploration deal signed in 2011.
Lenders to Orissa-based Adhunik Metaliks have sanctioned a debt restructuring scheme for the troubled special and alloy steel maker, the Indian company said in a filing to the country’s stock exchanges.
The international over-the-counter (OTC) iron ore market saw 62% Fe prices edge lower on Wednesday March 25.
Australia’s competition regulator has hit out against comments made by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) chairman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest this week, which called for iron ore producers to limit their output.
Firms which provide support services to mining companies are risking defaults as the squeeze on iron ore and coal prices sees miners cut costs and restructure contracts, an Australian bank has warned.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved down marginally on Wednesday March 25 amid limited market activity and weaker sentiment.
Seaborne iron ore prices stalled on Wednesday March 25 after a spike a day earlier, with losses in the futures market weighing on sentiment.
BC Iron has appointed Viento Contracting Services as the contractor for the Warrigal hub of its Nullagine iron ore project in a bid to lower its production costs.
China’s domestic iron ore production during the first two months of 2015 dropped 5.8% year-on-year, as plunging seaborne prices continued to squeeze local miners out of the market.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures lost some more ground during early trading on Wednesday March 25, as flagging sales in the physical market dampened sentiment.
24 March 2015
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices pushed up on Tuesday March 24 on higher transacted prices.
The international over-the-counter (OTC) iron ore market saw 62% Fe prices rise on Tuesday March 24 amid higher volumes of trades and tenders heard on the physical market.
Steel First was at the International Iron Ore Market Seminar in Qingdao, Shandong province, last week. Here are the seven things we learned there:
The seaborne iron ore market clawed back some losses on Tuesday March 24 on trades and tenders heard concluded at higher levels throughout the day.
Pluton Resources’ management has regained control over the company after its major shareholder and creditor General Nice Resources (GNR) agreed to retire KordaMentha as receivers and managers.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures prices weakened during early trading on Tuesday March 24, after the release of data showing the country’s factory activity had fallen to an eleven-month low.
Vale has started loading the first cargo of iron ore produced at its Serra Leste project, in the country's northern Carajás region.
23 March 2015
Iron ore prices fell sharply after opening higher on Monday March 23, as major investment bank Citi lowered its full-year 2015 price forecast to less than $50 per tonne.
Iran's Sangan Iron Ore sold 50,000 tonnes of 60% Fe lump magnetite iron ore at $17 per tonne for export to China last week.
Citi has downgraded its full-year 2015 iron ore average price forecast to less than $50 per tonne from $58 per tonne, amid declining mining costs and weak Chinese steel demand.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved up slightly on Monday March 23 on limited activity.
Trading activity in the seaborne iron ore market remained thin on Monday March 23 after prices tumbled to record lows last week.
China’s iron ore imports rose 11% year-on-year in February, according to data released by the country’s customs authority on Monday March 23.
China’s steel and raw futures largely moved down on Monday March 23, as a surge in spot rebar prices at the weekend was offset by news of more steel capacity cuts as part of the country’s tougher green laws.
20 March 2015
Editor Vera Blei looks at the main news covered by Steel First over the past week.
India’s parliament passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) amendment bill 2015 on Friday March 20.
News of a wave of major capacity shutdowns in China further depressed iron ore market sentiment on Friday March 20.
European steel mills are buying an increasing number of iron ore cargoes on a spot basis amid the deepest price rout in a decade.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices reached a new record low on Friday March 20 after a week of falls.
Australia’s Karara Mining is the latest victim of tumbling iron ore prices, with 70 jobs cut this week, according to local media reports on Thursday March 19.
Sentiment weakened further in the seaborne iron ore market on Friday March 20 following news of capacity cuts in China’s steelmaking hub of Hebei province.
The commodities market will only see a recovery when major producers make output cuts, according to an executive at China International Capital Corp (CICC).
The number of lossmaking operations in China’s iron ore mining industry has increased tremendously since last year, and now accounts for 75% of domestic capacity, according to the Metallurgical Mines’ Assn of China.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures remained lacklustre in early trading on Friday March 20 amid weak sentiment in physical markets.
Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group has rolled over its price adjustments in March to April, according to Chinese trading sources.
Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) continues to work on lowering costs in response to the constant drop in prices.
19 March 2015
International OTC iron ore prices edged tentatively lower on Thursday March 18.
More merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity and company closures will be seen in the mining exploration sector, due to the mounting difficulties of obtaining finance, according to Roy Hill director Ian Plimer.
Australia’s Department of Industry has lowered its forecast average price for iron ore in 2015 to $60 per tonne fob Australia, according to the department’s resources and energy quarterly report, released on Wednesday March 18.
Roy Hill is confident that its iron ore joint-venture project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region will be just as competitive as some of the industry's mining majors, according to company director Ian Plimer.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices reached a new low point in a quiet market on Thursday March 19.
Swedish iron ore producer Dannemora Mineral filed for bankruptcy at the Uppsala District Court on Wednesday March 18.
Buyers and sellers withdrew from the seaborne iron ore market on Thursday March 19 in anticipation of clearer cues, with prices at a record low.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures remained weak in early trading on Thursday March 19 as tougher environmental legislation sparked demand worries in the physical markets.
New, tougher environmental regulations imposed by Beijing could see many smaller steel mills facing closure, which would hit an already shaky raw materials market, according to delegates at an iron ore conference in the country.
18 March 2015
The Mexican authorities have closed an illegal iron ore extraction site at the city of Minatitlán in the state of Colima, the federal agency for environmental protection, Profepa, said on Monday March 16.
Chilean steelmaking and mining firm Compañía de Acero del Pacífico (CAP) plans to reduce by 10.5% the average cash cost of material mined by its iron ore division.
OTC iron ore contracts traded in the international market saw prices contract sharply, in line with weaker physical trades.
Brazil-based miner Ferrous Resources aims to produce 3.8 million tonnes of iron ore in 2015, down from last year’s output of 5 million tonnes, it told Steel First on Wednesday March 18.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices continued to sink on Wednesday March 18 amid lower trading in futures.
Iron ore pellet consumption in China may not get its anticipated boost from Beijing’s environmental crackdown, due to economic reasons.
Russia’s largest iron ore producer, Metalloinvest, saw its earning drop by 14% in 2014 amid a decline in iron ore prices and devaluation of the rouble, according to the company.
A weakening of the iron ore futures market drove down physical prices on Wednesday March 18 as mills waited on the sidelines for them to level off.
Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has shelved plans to refinance some of its debt with a $2.5-billion senior secured note issue due to an “unfavourable” debt market.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures largely fell on Wednesday March 18 amid a weak physical market and lack of clear direction.
17 March 2015
Iron ore production in India exceeded consumption by more than 42 million tonnes, India’s junior minister of steel and mines, Vishnu Deo Sai, told the country's MPs on Tuesday March 17.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices dropped heavily on Tuesday March 17 as reduced trading on platforms weakened sentiment in the seaborne market.
The international over-the-counter (OTC) iron ore market saw 62% Fe prices come back down on Tuesday March 17 amid weak physical sales.
Seaborne iron ore prices lost some ground on Tuesday March 17 even as those for steel continued to rise, an indication that market participants are still not confident about the steelmaking raw material.
China’s steel and steelmaking raw materials futures were muted in early morning trading on Tuesday March 17, amid a lack of clear market direction.
16 March 2015
Anglo American’s Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil may suffer additional impairment charges depending on iron ore prices, the company said in its annual report released on Monday March 16.
Steel and raw materials prices have been converging on a fast-paced downward trend, yet margins are reviving, Metal Bulletin Research’s chief analyst Alistair Ramsay told Steel First.
The international OTC iron ore market saw choppy trade on Monday March 16, with prices taking direction from mainland China derivatives contracts.
Australian pellet producer Grange Resources expects profits and demand for its product to grow in 2015 despite a sharp decline in iron ore prices
Sundance Resources has suspended a study at its development-stage Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore project in Cameroon and the Republic of Congo as iron ore prices drop to new lows.
Beleaguered Swedish iron ore miner Dannemora Mineral halted production on Monday March 16.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved up on Monday March 16 on improved sentiment.
Seaborne iron ore prices recovered on Monday March 16 as sentiment improved on the back of gains in the swaps and futures markets.
China’s steel futures rose in early trading on Monday March 16, even as physical prices showed signs of weakening.
15 March 2015
Brazilian mining major Vale has transferred its equity interest in the VBG iron ore project in Guinea, West Africa, to joint-venture partner BSG Resources (BSGR), the company said late on Friday March 13.
13 March 2015
Editor Vera Blei looks at the main news covered by Steel First this week.
Glencore subsidiary Sphere Minerals has mothballed its Askaf iron ore project in Mauritania, as prices for the steelmaking raw material remain at six-year lows.
The international over-the-counter iron ore market saw 62% Fe prices come back down on Friday March 13 as physical sales ran out of steam.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices made a downturn on Friday March 13 amid weakened sentiment and limited trading.
Seaborne iron ore prices failed to continue to move up on Friday March 13 as sentiment dampened by the falls on swaps as well as the futures prices of the raw material.
Iron ore inventory levels at Chinese ports rose to a seven-week high this week as prices fell to record lows.
The Port of Dampier in Western Australia has partially reopened on Friday March 13 after Cyclone Olwyn passed it, according to an update from the Pilbara Ports Authority.
China’s steel and raw materials futures remained rangebound in early trading on Friday March 13, amid a divided outlook in the wake of rising spot steel prices.
US Steel Corp plans to temporarily idle the Keetac plant at its iron ore operations in Keewatin, Minnesota, effective Friday May 13, the steelmaker said.
12 March 2015
India-based JSW Steel is considering a halt to production at Chilean mining subsidiary Santa Fe Mining (SFM) due to declining iron ore prices.
Vale’s iron ore exports from Brazil fell by 3.5% year-on-year in January 2015, according to figures published by Brazil’s iron ore association, Sinferbase, on Thursday March 12.
Iron ore produced by Brazilian miner and steelmaker CSN would be competitive even with global sales price below $50 per tonne, a senior executive has said.
Consultancy Snowden do Brasil has certified 3.02 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves at CSN’s Casa de Pedra and Engenho mines in Brazil’s south-eastern Minas Gerais state.
International over-the-counter (OTC) iron ore prices climbed on Thursday March 12, on the back of a firmer physical market.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices saw a slight uptick on Thursday March 12 amid improved sentiment.
Seaborne iron ore prices edged up on Thursday March 12 amid a surge in the billet and rebar markets.
The port of Dampier officially closed at 10am local time on Thursday March 12 as tropical cyclone Olwyn intensified and moved toward Australia’s West Pilbara coast.
China’s steel and raw materials futures rose in early trading on Thursday March 12, even as participants remained divided in their outlook.
11 March 2015
Brazilian steel and iron ore producer CSN appointed Paulo Rogério Caffarelli as corporate executive director on Tuesday March 10.
International OTC iron ore contracts held relatively steady on Wednesday March 11, despite physical prices tumbling to new lows.
Peru’s iron ore exports grew by 50% year-on-year in January, according to figures released by the country’s central bank on Tuesday March 10.
Ukraine-focused iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo saw its earnings slip by 2% year-on-year in 2014 to $496 million, amid declining iron ore prices and the continuing conflict in the country.
Australia’s Port Dampier iron ore export terminal commenced clearing its port and anchorage on Wednesday March 11 as tropical cyclone Olwyn threatened the region.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices dropped further on Wednesday March 11 amid more aggressive offers.
Downward pressure remained in the seaborne iron ore market on Wednesday March 11, as sellers lowered offers further to attract bookings.
China’s domestic prices for iron ore concentrate edged down on Wednesday March 11 amid weakened sentiment resulting from the massive price drop for imported cargoes.
China’s steel and raw materials futures remained lacklustre on Wednesday March 11, as physical prices continued to hover at historic lows.
10 March 2015
What a difference a year makes.
Venezuelan state-owned mining company CVG Ferrominera Orinoco (FMO) has resumed shipments to the local hot briquetted iron (HBI) industry after restarting pellet production in January.
About 85 million tonnes of iron ore production will be taken out of the market in 2015 but supply growth is still expected to outpace demand growth, according to Rio Tinto iron ore chief Andrew Harding.
Caravel Metallurgical, Gunvor and H&C S Holdings were the trading companies involved on the launch day of the Singapore Exchange's 58% Fe iron ore derivatives contracts on Monday March 9.
Freight costs for steel products have remained largely unchanged in Asia’s regional trade routes despite low bulk carrier rates globally and recent bankruptcy cases in the shipping sector.
International over-the-counter iron ore prices came back down on Tuesday March 10 as there was no support from the physical market.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved further down on Tuesday March 10 on lower offers.
Seaborne iron ore prices continued to fall on Tuesday March 10 as sellers continued to lower offers to attract bookings, despite an uptick in billet prices.
BHP Billiton is expecting the cost curve of iron ore to flatten as low-cost seaborne supply replaces high-cost materials.
Net profits at major Chinese iron ore producer Hainan Mining slumped by more than half on a yearly basis in 2014 due to plunging iron ore prices.
Swiss investment bank UBS has lowered its iron ore price forecast for both 2015 and 2016 to under $60 per tonne cfr.
China’s futures remained weak on Tuesday March 10, as disappointing economic data further compounded a gloomy outlook for the country’s steel industry.
09 March 2015
Brazil’s competition regulator, Cade, has approved the acquisition of a stake in two iron ore cargo terminals in the country’s south-eastern Minas Gerais state by Dutch trading company Trafigura.
Chilean steel and iron ore producer Compañía de Acero del Pacífico (CAP) saw its net profit decrease by 69.7% year-on-year in 2014.
The Singapore Exchange launched its 58% Fe iron ore derivatives portfolio on Monday March 9, with a clutch of contracts reported to have traded.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has seen an active launch day on Monday March 9 for the latest addition to its iron ore derivatives portfolio.
This week, Metal Bulletin Research (MBR) takes a look at the effects on the coke market that result from surplus iron ore and weak demand for steel.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices slid to new index-lows on Monday March 9 on slack trading activity.
The board of beleaguered Sierra Leone-focused iron ore producer African Minerals has decided to appoint an administrator, it said late on Friday March 6.
Offers in the seaborne iron ore market dipped slightly on Monday, despite enquiries picking up after prices fell below $60 per tonne cfr China last Thursday.
Australian pellets producer Grange Resources has appointed Zhao Honglin as its ceo, with immediate effect, the company said on Friday March 6.
Three contracts to be settled against Metal Bulletin’s 58% Fe Premium Index have been traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on the morning of its launch of lower-grade iron ore derivatives.
China’s steel and raw materials futures were largely flat during early trading on Monday March 9, while participants maintained a pessimistic outlook.
China’s iron ore imports surged in February from a year earlier on Chinese New Year restocking.
08 March 2015
Peru’s Shougang Hierro Perú saw its iron ore production grow by 13.8% year-on-year in January, according to figures released by the country’s central bank on Friday March 6.
06 March 2015
A contraction in physical iron ore prices to less than $60 per tonne, for the first time in six-years, followed a sharp sell-off in the international paper market on Friday March 6.
Pellet premiums and prospects for direct reduced iron (DRI) steelmaking in the Middle East-North Africa (Mena) region peppered sober debate at Metal Bulletin’s 3rd World DRI and Pellet Congress.
Seaborne iron ore prices have fallen below the crucial $60-per-tonne barrier for the first time, after hovering above the support threshold for almost three months.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices continued to weaken below the $60-per-tonne mark on Friday March 6 as mills adopted a wait-and-see approach to trading.
The seaborne metallurgical coal market is feeling the effects of the gloomy iron ore market after prices in the latter fell below the psychological level of $60 per tonne cfr on Thursday.
Seaborne iron ore prices’ fall below $60 per tonne cfr has resulted in Chinese mills putting off any purchasing plans as they wait and see just how low they would go.
There was little improvement in China’s ferrous futures market on Friday March 6, with sentiment dipping further after the release of data that showed Chinese mills’ output rate rising in late February.
05 March 2015
Brazilian iron ore export volumes to China fell by 2.8% year-on-year in February 2015.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices took a sharp downturn on Thursday March 5 amid limited buying activity and weak sentiment.
Bearish sentiment continued to engulf the seaborne iron ore market on Thursday March 5, with buyers returning to the sidelines after seeing prices fall again.
China National Building Materials & Equipment Import & Export Corp (CNBM) has launched a physical trading platform for iron ore, coking coal and steel products.
China’s domestic hot rolled coil market continued to show signs of weakness on Thursday March 5, with prices sliding further downwards in the eastern region on sales pressure.
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) will conduct a new $2.5-billion senior secured debt issue to help it to weather low iron ore prices.
China’s ferrous futures continued its weak performance in early trading on Thursday March 5 after Beijing announced a lower economic growth target of around 7% for this year.
Gerdau has reported a loss at its iron ore division in the fourth quarter amid lower prices in the international market, it said on Wednesday March 4.
04 March 2015
MMX’s iron ore exports from Brazil fell by 71.3% year-on-year in 2014, according to figures released by the country’s iron ore industry association, Sinferbase, on Wednesday March 4.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices continued to move lower amid weaker market sentiment on Wednesday March 4.
An influx of steel imports and high pellet premiums are driving down competitiveness and margins for direct reduced iron (DRI) producers in the Middle East-North Africa (Mena) region, an Emirates Steel executive has said.
Shandong Iron & Steel Group (SISG) has taken control of the mining and logistics subsidiaries of Sierra Leone-focused iron ore producer African Minerals, the junior miner said on Tuesday March 3.
Iron ore exports out of Australia’s Port of Port Hedland saw a month-on-month drop of 3% in February, according to figures released by the Pilbara Ports Authority on Wednesday March 4.
Sentiment in the seaborne iron ore market was dampened by a crackdown on pollution in Shandong province, which left participants wondering if it was a harbinger of things to come elsewhere.
China’s ferrous futures posted a slight dip in early trading on Wednesday March 4 amid the weak sentiment pervading through the market.
03 March 2015
The economic signals from China remained weak in February.
Glencore sold 66 million tonnes of iron ore in 2014, doubling its trading volume of 33.2 million tonnes in 2013.
International over-the-counter iron ore prices were mostly flat during Asian trading hours on Tuesday March 3, brokers said.
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved slightly lower on Tuesday March 3 amid continued steady trading.
Environmental factors in Brazil are creating difficulties for the production and supply of high-quality direct reduction (DR) pellets, a Samarco executive said on Tuesday March 3.
China’s interest rate cut and steady futures failed to boost iron ore prices further on Tuesday March 3, though market participants say they are unlikely to experience any serious drops.
China’s steel futures edged down in early trading on Tuesday March 3, with the physical market showing little upside despite a pick-up in trading activity now that more participants are back from holiday.
02 March 2015
Brazilian iron ore export volumes grew by 11.6% year-on-year in February, according to figures released by Brazil’s foreign trade ministry, MDIC, on Monday March 2.
Brazilian miner Vale has concluded the transaction with local energy firm Cemig Geração e Transmissão (Cemig GT) that has created power generation joint-venture company Aliança Geração.
A surprise cut in Chinese interest rates and better-than-expected PMI data helped boost the international OTC iron ore market on Monday March 2, with prices and volumes both posting increases.
Mining major Rio Tinto will try to eliminate hundreds of jobs from its West Australian iron ore business as the price of the raw material hovers near its lowest level for six years, Steel First understands.
Sierra Leone iron ore miner African Minerals’ largest shareholder, Shandong Iron & Steel Group (SISG), has taken control of a significant proportion of the company’s debt in the latest hit for the struggling miner.
How are producers of direct reduced iron (DRI) able to match growing demand in the Middle East? Are falling iron ore prices and growing supply affecting the cost and availability of pellets for DRI production?
Spot 62% Fe iron ore prices moved slightly higher on Monday March 2 amid steady trading.
Sentiment among Asian iron ore traders improved on Monday, with volumes picking up as mills returned from the Chinese New Year break.
Dry bulk operator Shagang Shipping has filed for liquidation amid low freight rates, becoming the fourth shipping company to go under since February.
The seaborne iron ore market saw a steady start to the week on Monday March 2 with deals on trading platforms sending a clear message of stability to participants.
China’s ferrous futures were mostly down during early trading on Monday March 2 following the release of February data showing the country’s manufacturing sector and steel industry still in contraction territory.
Refine by year
Refine by month
Citic records $2.5bn writedown at Sino Iron project: China’s Citic has reported a HK$19.5-billion ($2.5-billio... http://t.co/awFGkksSSD
RT @metalsresearch: You're invited...Join the free live webinar on April 1 to learn about MBR's linepipe outlook. Register today http://t.c…
.@Usiminas asks MMX to revoke Brazil #ironore exploration deal #SteelFirst @ACamargo_SF @FPeroni_SF http://t.co/jo9JVtSHHN
9-11 March 2015
23 March 2015