Iron ore prices started the new year with a bang on Monday as unprecedented demand from China counteracted government calls for sharp cuts in the country’s steel output.
According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China (CFR Qingdao) were changing hands for $165.29 a tonne on Monday, up 3% on the day.
In December, the steelmaking raw material hit its highest level since September 2011 after gaining nearly 80% 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.”
China is expected to have forged more than 1 billion tonnes of crude steel in 2020 and imports of iron ore are also running at record levels of more than 1 billion tonnes per annum.