Iron ore dangerously close to $60 a tonne

Iron ore prices continued their downward trend Tuesday amid ongoing concerns that looming steel production cuts in China on environmental grounds will sap steel mill demand.

Ore with 62% content in the port of Qingdao dropped 2.6% to $61.01 a tonne, according to Metal Bulletin.

The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange dropped 2% to 440 yuan per tonne, adding to Monday’s 2.1% decline. Earlier in the session, the contract fell as far as 434.50 yuan, its weakest since July 6.

Benchmark Australian iron ore fines dropped 4.1% Tuesday to a three-month low of $59.1 a tonne, based on data provided by The Steel Index, taking losses since the start of September to more than 20%.

Iron ore dangerously close to $60 a tonne

It means that the January 2017 iron ore contract is now sitting at the lowest level since mid-July. Further falls are predicted to around $50 a tonne by 2019 as China also plans to revoke about a third of its iron ore mining licences, mostly belonging to small polluting operations.

At the same time, supply from Australia — the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer — has risen, further pressuring prices.