As unprecedented demand from China counteracted government demands for deep cuts in the country’s steel production, iron ore prices began the new year with a bang on Monday.
On Monday, benchmark 62 percent Fe fines imported into Northern China (CFR Qingdao) were changing hands for $165.29 a tonne, up 3 percent on the day, according to Fastmarkets MB.
In December, raw materials from steelmaking reached their highest level since September 2011, after gaining almost 80 percent during the year.
“Impact from the pandemic (on iron ore) was not as pessimistic as the market expected,” Zhuo Guiqiu, analyst with Jinrui Capital told Reuters:
“The big jump came after Vale lowered its shipments expectations and a robust Chinese steel demand in the fourth quarter.”
More than 1 billion tonnes of crude steel are projected to be forged by China in 2020, and iron ore imports are also operating at record levels of more than 1 billion tonnes per year.