Before and after the Spring Festival in January and February, the domestic market is in the off-season of steel demand, and steel production has also decreased. However, due to the dam-break in Brazil's Vale, iron ore prices showed a sharp upward trend. Overall, the impact of dam-break events is limited, the situation of iron ore supply and demand has not changed significantly, and the price of iron ore is difficult to continue to rise substantially. 一、中国铁矿石价格指数大幅上升
1. China's iron ore price index has risen sharply
According to the monitoring by the Iron and Steel Association, at the end of January, the China Iron Ore Price Index (CIOPI) was 294.76 points, up 41.37 points, or 16.33 percent. Among them: the domestic iron ore price index is 243.47 points, rising 4.53 points annually, an increase of 1.90%; the imported iron ore price index is 302.52 points, an increase of 46.95 points annually, an increase of 18.37%.
From the monthly average, China's iron ore price index (CIOPI) is generally higher than last month. In January, the average CIOPI composite index was 268.17 points, up 19.44 points, or 7.82%, compared with the previous month. Among them: the average price index of domestic iron ore is 241.54 points, up 2.66 points from last month, up 1.11%; the average price index of imported iron ore is 272.19 points, up 21.97 points annually, up 8.78%.
2. Domestic iron concentrate prices are relatively stable, while imported fine ore prices have risen sharply.
At the end of January, CIOPI domestic iron concentrate tax price was 626.49 yuan/ton, rising 11.65 yuan/ton annually, up 1.90%; CIOPI imported fine ore landed price was 81.71 dollars/ton, up 12.68 dollars/ton annually, up 18.37%, 16.47 percentage points higher than domestic ore price.
It should be noted that import prices of Brazilian Vale have risen rapidly after a dam-break in a tailings mine in Mines Gerais on January 25. From the monthly average, the average tax-bearing price of domestic iron concentrate is 621.52 yuan/ton, up 6.85 yuan/ton from last month, an increase of 1.11%. Among them, from January 2 to the end of January, the fluctuation of 616.17 yuan/ton went up to 626.49 yuan/ton.
The average CIF price of imported fine ore is 73.52 US dollars per ton, up 5.94 US dollars per ton, or 8.78% over the previous month. From Jan. 2 to Jan. 11, the oscillation run from $69.23 per ton to $71.93 per ton, and from Jan. 11 to the end of Jan. 11, the oscillation run from $71.93 per ton to $81.71 per ton. Prices continued to rise after the Spring Festival, reaching $87.92 per ton on February 12, up 7.6 per cent from the end of January.
III. Analysis of Iron Ore Price Trend in Later Period
1. Brazilian Vale Dam Break has limited impact on supply, and the market should not be over-interpreted.
In 2018, China imported 1.064 billion tons of iron ore, a decrease of 10.22 million tons over the previous year, of which 205 million tons were imported from Brazil, accounting for about 20% of China's total imports, a decrease of 13 million tons over the previous year. According to several international agencies, the dam-break event affects the annual output of iron ore in Valley from 40 to 60 million tons, accounting for only about 5% of China's annual imports. The reduced output of Brazil's Valley and varieties of high-silicon minerals can be compensated by imported minerals from other countries and regions. In 2019, China's iron and steel industry needs to further promote the structural reform of supply side, continue to consolidate the results of capacity removal, and the possibility of large-scale growth of iron and steel output is low. At the same time, with the increase of scrap steel consumption, the demand for iron ore is further reduced, and iron ore prices are difficult to rise substantially in the later period.
2. Demand intensity of iron ore has declined and the situation of supply exceeding demand remains unchanged.
According to the statistics of the Tenth Annual Report of the Iron and Steel Association, the average daily output of members'iron and steel enterprises was 181.66 million tons in mid-early January, which was estimated to be 239.48 million tons of crude steel in the whole country, down 2.47% from last December, and the daily output of iron in the whole country was estimated to be 199.38 million tons, down 2.20% from December. At the end of January, the stock of imported iron ore ports decreased by 1.22 million tons, a decline of 1.29%. Overall, the situation of supply exceeding demand in the iron ore market has not been greatly improved.
3. Steel prices fluctuate narrowly and iron ore prices are difficult to keep rising
The China Steel Price Index (CSPI) was 106.77 points on February 1, down 0.35 points, or 0.33%, from the end of December last year, according to the monitoring by the Iron and Steel Association. From this year's weekly situation, steel prices show a narrow fluctuation trend. According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, the purchasing manager of China's manufacturing industry (PMI) in December was 49.5%, up 0.1 percentage points from last month, which was lower than the critical point for two consecutive months. This shows that the downward pressure of the national economy is greater and the demand for steel for downstream industries is difficult to sustain growth. At present, it is still in the off-season of steel consumption, and steel prices will continue to fluctuate slightly. Later iron ore prices are difficult to continue to rise, will be a rational return trend.