This is what’s making iron ore prices even worse

Iron ore prices, traditionally influenced primarily by demand and supply factors in the physical market, are showing signs of becoming “financialised” as paper trading increasingly plays a part in driving prices.

“Iron ore prices are being pressured by declining Chinese equities and a depreciating [yuan],” Citi’s analysts said in a report. “Macroeconomic developments and financial market positioning are increasingly impacting iron ore prices as paper trading grows, leading iron ore to more resemble copper, oil and other financialised commodities.”

Canadian brokerage RBC Capital Markets’ analysts also noted that concerns over the yuan’s devaluation and the recent decline in the Chinese stock market has eroded sentiment, while tight credit has also dampened buying interest in iron ore.

“We expect weak steel fundamentals and global iron ore oversupply to continue to weigh on iron ore prices,” they added.

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Image courtesy of Library of Congress