Iron ore prices ended May on a high with the 62% benchmark fines product from Australian producers back near $US200 a tonne, but still off sharply from the all time highs reached on May 12.
In fact the 62% and 58% Fe fines ended May still in bear territory (a fall of 20% or more from their most recent peak). The price of the higher quality 65% Fe fines saw the smallest fall from those highs, an indication is remains in strong demand.
Fastmarkets MB said the index price ended the session $US198.83 a tonne, for fines delivered to northern China. That was a rise of $US8.32 a tonne or more than 4%.
That rise saw the price of 62% fines rise $US10 a tonne over May, although they are still sharply down – 19.9% – from the $US237.50 a tonne reached on May 12.
The price of 58% Fe fines ended May up $US10.05 a tonne at $US172.85. That was down $US11.32 a tonne over the month and 22% or nearly $US46 a tonne from the May 12 peak of $US207.22.
And the price of 65% Fe fines from Brazil added $US7.90 on the final day of the month to end at $US232.80. That was up $US10.30 a month over May, but down $US35 a tonne (13%) from the all time peak of $US267.80 on May 12.
Fastmarkets suggested the solid rises seen on Monday to end May were due to rumours of the easing of pollution and capacity controls in and around the major steel producing city of Tangshan. Equally solid demand for steel products was also said to be a factor.