Global iron ore prices advanced again on Friday amid robust trading activity as Chinese steel prices remained firm and iron ore stockpiles fell.
The Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe index jumped just over 1% or $US1.53 to $US105.32 a tonne.
It was the second time last week the global price had topped $US105 a tonne – prices ended at $US105.71 on Wednesday and then dipped under $US104 a tonne on Thursday.
The 62% Fe price was up from $US101.71 a week earlier, a rise of more than 3%.
The Metal Bulletin said the key drivers Iron ore stockpiles at 45 major Chinese ports totaled 127.68 million tonnes on Friday, down 4.39 million tonnes from a week earlier, according to a Chinese data provider.
Higher blast furnace capacity utilisation rates among Chinese steelmakers and no significant increase in seaborne iron ore supplies have helped support recent price gains.
Meanwhile, a continuing watch is being maintained on the Sul Superior dam wall in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state that showed signs 10 days ago of impending failure.
In a statement on Friday Vale, the owner of the dam wall (and the big Brazilian iron ore miner) said:
“Vale reinforces that it has adopted all preventive measures in Barão de Cocais, since February 8, with the primary objective of ensuring the safety of the region’s residents.
“In addition to the preventive relocation of the residents in the Self-Rescue Zone, Vale has supported the authorities in performing escape drill simulations and in preparing the communities for all eventualities, with teams in a state of permanent readiness.
“Both the slope of the Gongo Soco mine and the Sul Superior Dam are being monitored 24 hours a day and the forecast of when part of the slope will slip is being reviewed on a daily basis.
“Vale reinforces that there is no technical data that can confirm whether the eventual slippage will trigger a breach of the dam.
“Even so, it reiterates that all preventive measures have been taken and is working closely with the authorities to provide all possible support,” Vale said on Friday.