Posts tagged Next
What next for China iron ore prices?
The latest research weekly from Macquarie suggest that iron ore contract prices for China(cnmining) in 2009 will be around 20 percent lower than in 2008, copper TC/RC costs are rising and aluminium imports and exports continue to fall.
The 2009 annual iron ore negotiations are approaching, and once again, news headlines are teeming with all kinds of arguments from different iron ore stakeholders. We believe that iron ore contract prices will fall next year, but will not collapse (we are expecting a 20% decline for 2009). Spot business will also be more important in the next year.
Over the past week, steel prices have lost their uptrend momentum. Hot rolled coil prices were unchanged from last week at $456/t ex-Vat, and cold rolled coil prices were down by a slight 0.5% WoW to $543/t ex-Vat. Also, rebar suffered a 0.4% WoW decline to $440/t ex-Vat, and galvanised steel was $548/t ex-Vat, down by 0.8% WoW.
Local spot iron ore prices were unchanged from last week. 66% Hebei iron ore fine stayed at $102/t ex-Vat, while the Indian 63.5% iron ore fine prices increased by $5/t to $80/t cif.
Copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) have strengthened in the spot market along with smelter production cuts in China and collapsing copper prices. We heard the average benchmark TC/RC is sealed at US$80/t and US8.0¢/lb (US20.5¢/lb combined) in the spot market compared with US$45/t and US4.5¢/lb ((US11.5¢/lb combined) quoted in October.
According to the preliminary trade data from China customs, China imported 217,214t of unwrought copper and semi-finished copper products in November, down 6% from October and a 3% drop from the same period in 2007. The October number was the highest since April. For the first 11 months of 2008, total imports were down by 8.0% YoY to 2.35mt.
Chinese unwrought aluminium exports, including aluminium alloy, kept falling in November to 30,396t (lowest level in 2008), a 36% fall MoM and a 32% drop from the same period in 2007. The combination of lower prices and the introduction of a 15% customs duty on aluminium alloy exports, effective 20 August, has severely affected Chinese aluminium exports.
Chinese aluminium imports also declined. The provisional data from China are for imports of aluminium, alloys and semi-fabricated products combined, and thus are not directly comparable with the export figures. These data show imports falling from 66,000t in October to 54,500t in November. Allowing for an estimated 40,000t of semis imports (down from 45,400t in October), this would imply imports of aluminium and alloys of around 14,500t in November.