Iron Ore Price Rises to 14-Month High
Iron ore rallied 39 percent in the three months through December, the biggest gain since at least 2009.
The steelmaking raw material rallied 39 percent in the three months through December, the biggest gain since at least 2009, as demand in China rebounded on optimism the world’s second-largest economy is recovering. Gross domestic product is poised to expand 8.1 percent this year, from 7.7 percent in 2012, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed last month by Bloomberg. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. (600019), China’s largest steelmaker, said on Jan. 7 that it will raise product prices.
“A steady improvement in Chinese demand, and faint stability elsewhere, have created the conditions for one last run up in iron ore prices before new supply causes them to ebb back,” Credit Suisse said in an e-mailed report today.
The spike in iron ore prices is likely to be temporary, the Australian newspaper said Jan. 3, citing Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto Group’s iron ore and Australia chief executive officer. Rising Chinese demand has created conditions for a last run up in prices, Credit Suisse Group AG said Jan. 3, forecasting an average $130 a ton in the first quarter and $125 in the second.
“The theme for iron ore in 2013 could be a tale of two halves in our view: strength in H1 and weakness in H2,”Deutsche Bank analysts Daniel Brebner and Xiao Fu said in the report dated yesterday. Inventories of steel and iron ore have fallen “considerably within China over the past two quarters.”
Buying and selling of iron ore swaps rose to 111.5 million tons in 2012, from 43.4 million tons in 2011, according to data published on the website of SGX Asia Clear, a Singapore-based clearing house.