Iron Ore 62% fe Prices Explained
Iron ore 62% fe prices fell below $120 per ton (the lowest in nearly 3 months) as the Chinese economy continuously showed signs of weakness. Additionally, the country’s weaker currency diminishes its purchasing power for ferrous metals. Furthermore, the country targets to reduce its economic reliance on property investments as it steadily shows downward trends.
Why are iron ore 62% fe prices fluctuating?
1. Changes in Chinese Buying Patterns
Market experts believe that the Chinese declining property developments will influence the pessimistic 2024 market outlook of iron ore. This comes after Chinese steel mills showed a preference for low-grade iron ore for economical production.
Additionally, buyers are interested in procuring Yuan-based imported iron ore which limits the marketability of iron ore 62%.
2. Centralized Purchases
Following the country’s deflation, the Chinese government opted for a conservative economic plan.
One example of its key agenda is to centralize its iron ore purchases. The government plans to authorize China Mineral Resources Group (CMRG), a state-run company to purchase raw materials for China’s steel industry.
Consequently, this centralized purchasing plan will eventually curb iron ore 62% fe prices in the long run. Furthermore, the country slowly turned to service sector development after the downturn of its real estate market.
3. Increasing Steel Scrap Usage
The rising steel scrap market is another threat to iron ore 62% fe prices. The industry capitalizes on the decarbonization campaign across the globe as producing steel from secondary source steel scrap mainly requires electricity compared to making steel from raw materials.
Leading by example are the European Union-27 ( 19,460 metric tons ) and the US ( 17,906 metric tons ).
Additionally, steel scrap production releases significantly low carbon which supports green steel programs. Furthermore, mills favored low-grade import iron ore to reduce manufacturing costs and increase production margins.
Thus, this maximized steel production initiative puts pressure on other metal benchmarks including iron ore 62% fe prices.
Which variables impact the price of iron ore 62% fe?
- Changes in Chinese Buying Patterns
- Centralized Purchases
- Increasing Steel Scrap Usage
- Currency Government Policies
Where does iron ore 62% fe come from?
Iron ore is a generic term for any rock or mineral that contains a significant amount of iron. Generally, it is the raw material in making steel, widely used in construction and industrial applications.
Iron ore 62% FE refers to a specific type of iron ore that contains 62% iron by weight. This high-grade iron ore is the benchmark for the global iron ore market.
The main difference between iron ore and iron ore 62% FE is the iron content.
Iron ore contains anywhere from 20% to 70% iron while iron ore 62% FE has at least 62% iron. This means that iron ore 62% FE is a more concentrated source of iron, and it requires less processing to produce high-quality steel.
Due to its higher iron content, iron ore 62% FE is typically more expensive than other types of iron ore. However, it is also more efficient to use which saves steelmakers money in the long run.
Additionally, iron ore 62% FE is the most commonly traded type of iron ore in the world. Steelmakers from China, Japan, South Korea, and other countries are its top consumers.
The processing of high-grade iron ore typically involves the following steps:
1. Crushing and screening – Specialized crushing equipment mashes the iron ore. The crushed iron ore undergoes screening to identify its iron content and produce a uniform size distribution.
2. Magnetic separation – The crushed and screened iron ore passes through a magnetic field to separate the magnetic iron minerals from the non-magnetic impurities.
3. Tailing treatment – The remaining non-magnetic minerals from the magnetic separation process are further screened and treated to recover any remaining iron minerals for sub-class production.
4. Pelletization – The iron-concentrated minerals are compressed to produce a more uniform and denser product. This process improves the flexibility and handling characteristics of the iron ore.
5. Sintering – To reduce the iron ore’s moisture content, the pellets are heated to a high temperature to partially melt and fuse, forming a stronger and more durable product. The processed high-grade iron ore is shipped to mills for steel production.
What are the uses of iron ore 62%?
Iron ore 62% FE’s higher iron content makes this metal a valuable commodity in various industries. This includes:
1. Steel Production – 97% of steel production largely accounts for iron ore, with 2% impurities and 1% carbon which complete the process. In a chain of manufacturing events, two major industries heavily rely on steel to constitute their production.
Construction industry. Much of iron ore 62% FE is used to produce steel for buildings, bridges, railways, and other major infrastructure. Additionally, cast iron products such as pipes, valves, and fittings are essential in housing and building constructions.
Automotive industry. Generally, every vehicle needs 900 kg of steel to complete its production:
40% directly comes to the body structure, panels, doors, and trunk closures for high-strength, and energy absorption in case of a crash.
23% for the drive train, which consists of cast iron for the engine block and machinable carbon steel for the wear-resistant gears.
Thus, these industries fuel the lucrative iron ore 62% FE prices.
2. Magnetic Alloys – The production of magnetic alloy also needs high-grade iron ore and its flexibility is useful in the aerospace and electronics industries.
Aircraft industry. Iron ore 62% FE’s high-heat resistance, strength, and hardness make it an essential aircraft metal as airframe and landing gear.
Electronics industry. Computer hard drives, power electronics, motors, and transformers are the end-products of high-grade iron ore.
Additional industry applications of high-grade iron ore:
- The power generation industry needs high-grade iron ore for their turbines and generators and,
- In agriculture, plants’ sunlight absorption isn’t complete without the presence of iron.
What is the future price of iron ore 62% fe?
Most factors present headwinds to iron ore prices however market analysts believe that the demand from India, the U.S., Japan, and some emerging markets can potentially offset this imbalance.
Also, the extended blast furnace maintenance in some key Chinese mills, particularly in Shanxi and Hebei provinces, will lessen the iron ore supply. Furthermore, the cyclone and rainy seasons in Australia and Brazil heavily affected the countries’ output. These factors will likely influence iron ore 62% prices in the coming years.
Conversely, Fitch Solutions cited the emerging factors which can lower its prices in 2030:
The continued growth in alternative steelmaking technologies such as electric arc furnaces (EAFs).
The increased competition from other iron ore producers such as India, Australia, and Russia.
Thus, iron ore 62% FE prices will have a bearish market at $126.92 per ton in 2030.