China's iron ore import market remained quiet on Thursday May
3, with prices expected to fall further.
Spot prices of 63.5% Fe Indian fines stood at $147-148 per
tonne cfr China, compared with $147-149 per tonne cfr on
"The market is very weak at the moment. Buyers are scarce so a
steel mill can get any iron ore it wants at a reasonable
price," an iron ore trader in Shandong told Metal Bulletin.
"We have not sold any iron ore for nearly one month, but we are
hesitant to lower our offer prices due to our high purchasing
costs," a trader in Anhui said.
There is ample supply of seaborne iron ore, especially
Brazilian material, and domestic iron ore miners are boosting
output because of the warmer weather, a trader in Shanghai
The imminent monsoon season in India could create some
uncertainties in the iron ore market in the medium term,
however, an analyst in Shanghai said.
"The loading of fines cargoes will stop in western Indian ports
during the monsoon season, from May 21 to September 15, but the
loading of lumps cargo will continue," an Indian trader told
"India's market share will drop even further during the rainy
season this year, as low-Fe materials that are shipped from the
western ports have gradually become the country's main iron ore
export," the Shanghai analyst said.
The market is well prepared for the regular monsoon season,
however, and there is nothing to worry about, the Shanghai
Vale offered 113,257 tonnes of 64.13% Fe lumps on Thursday, and
market participants expect the tender to be concluded at about
$145 per tonne cfr.
On Wednesday, Vale concluded a tender for 109,700 tonnes of
63.72% Fe sinter-feed fines at $145.18 per tonne cfr. This
compares with a similar cargo on April 26 that went for $146.52
per tonne cfr.
Rio Tinto offered 75,000 tonnes of 65% Fe South African
Palabora Mining Co fines at $156 per tonne cfr on Thursday,
down by $1 from its offer a week earlier.