Global iron ore prices are within sight of topping the $US100 a tonne mark for the first time since 2014 after another rise on Thursday.
According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62%(Fe) fines rose 2% to end at $US99.21, the highest level in five years.
That was after a 2.8% rise on Wednesday to $US96.95 for the ore type most commonly produced by BHP and Rio Tinto.
The price of 58% (Fe) fines (the type produced by Fortescue Metals Group) saw a 4% rise, or $US3.46 a tonne to $US89.10.
The index price of 65% (Fe) ore, the type produced by Vale in Brazil rose by 1.2% or $US1.40 a tonne to $US113.50 a tonne.
That’s the highest level since Metal Bulletin first started producing data on the grade at the start of 2016.
The surge in the Metal Bulletin and other index prices followed a rise in Chinese domestic futures to record levels on Thursday.
Reuters pointed out that the most-traded September 2019 iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 4.5% to hit 678.5 yuan ($US98.62) a tonne.
That’s the highest ever since futures trading started in 2016.
China’s crude steel production rose 12.7% in April from March to 85.03 million tonnes, its highest monthly level on record, driven by firm demand and good profitability.