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All about the MB iron ore index


The iron ore index developed by Metal Bulletin (MB), a sister publication of AMM, is an accurate representation of the seaborne merchant market for sinter fines delivered to China.

The index is based on actual transactions reported to MB by any market participant who is conducting trades on a c.f.r. China spot basis. MB is totally impartial, seeks to report an open and transparent representation of the market and has no financial interest in the level or direction of the index.

The base target specification, detailed below, has been chosen to accurately reflect the reality of the physical market. Material that differs from the base specification but falls within the target range is normalized to the base specification and port.

The normalization coefficients have been developed using MB's extensive historical data and history of reporting prices in this market and weekly updated freight rates.


Three sub-indices are created, based on data received from producers, traders and consumers. The sub-indices are based on a tonnage weighted average of the trade information. The final index is the non-weighted average of the three sub-indices. Only the final index is published.

MB will seek to utilize at least 12 trades—four for each sub-index—as a minimum to calculate the index. In the unlikely event this is not achievable, assessments from market participants will be included in the index calculation via a defined methodology.

If fewer than four trades are reported for a sub-index, a minimum of four assessments will be averaged to create an assessment price. This will be combined at the rate of 25 percent with three transactions, 50 percent with two transactions, 75 percent with one transaction and 100 percent with no transactions.

All data points that fall greater than 4 percent away from the calculated index are excluded, and the index recalculated once. Outliers will be investigated, and attempts to influence the index unfairly will result in the data provider being warned or excluded.

Data is submitted in a secure manner by telephone, e-mail or directly through the website. All correspondence will be stored.


The normalization coefficients will be updated twice a year, and will be published on the first index release date in January and July of each year. The new coefficients will be based on data collected over the previous six months.

In the event of public holidays in Britain, the index will be published on the previous working day. In the event of technical difficulties or other unforeseen problems, the index will be published from MB's Singapore or Shanghai office, as appropriate.

Material in the form of pellets and lumps is excluded.

Domestic Chinese material, and material imported by routes other than by sea—by train or truck, for example—is also excluded, as is material that has already been delivered and is held on stockpile at the dock.

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