The import price of 62% Fe content ore at the port of Tianjin stabilized after yesterday’s big drop, declining slightly to $72.20 per dry metric tonne on Wednesday after a frenzied month of trading saw the price reach a two-year high.
On the Dalian Commodities Exchange iron ore futures came close to reaching the daily price change lower limit in the morning, but ended the day at $83.75 a tonne. Chinese authorities recently upped trading fees and margin requirements to cool down the credit-fuelled speculation in iron ore, met coal and rebar.
World number two iron ore producer Rio Tinto surprised the market on Tuesday announcing the shutdown of one of its biggest mines in Australia’s Pilbara region over the end-of-year holiday period. It would mark the first interruption in operations at Rio iron ore mines since 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, world number three and four producers, have no plans to follow Rio and that the Christmas holiday would be business as usual.
Year to date the price of the steelmaking raw material is still up nearly 70% following near-decade lows in December last year.