This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Iron Ore Prices Set to Fall Further

Stocks in this article: RTP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Iron ore prices are poised to decline further this year following a 14% drop so far in the third quarter from the second quarter.

Prices are averaging $143 a tonne for the third quarter, vs. $167 a tonne in the second quarter, according to Metal Bulletin prices.

Last week, global mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP) told Australia Associated Press that iron ore prices are set to decline 13.3% during the fourth quarter. The company's iron ore division chief executive Sam Walsh foresees prices dipping to $127 a tonne, based on the average index price during the previous quarter.

The Steel Index, which tracks 62%-grade iron ore arriving at China's Tianjin port, expects prices to plunge by around 12% during the fourth quarter. Assuming the current average of $143, the prices could hover around the $125-a-tonne mark.

In a recent development, China Minmetals Corp. told Bloomberg that the China Iron & Steel Association is negotiating with iron ore producers to fix a monthly price for the raw material. However, the move from quarterly pricing to monthly pricing increases the prospect of Chinese steelmakers defaulting on contracts, Minmetals' Vice President Feng Guiquan was reported saying.

This year, Rio, BHP Billiton (BHP), and Vale SA (VALE), which together account for about 70% of global iron ore production, fixed iron ore prices on a quarterly basis instead of the annual pricing mechanism followed earlier.

The steel industry will benefit from lower iron ore prices as it reduces the cost of production. China's steel manufacturers stand to gain from the drop, as the country is the largest steelmaker and top consumer.

Sluggish demand forced nearly 40% of Chinese steelmakers to suspend production due to a 17% drop in steel prices and as the government attempted to cool the overheated property market. Looking forward to 2010, MEPS, an independent supplier of steel market information, forecasts China's steel production to grow 10% year over year to 627 million tonnes from 567.8 million tonnes.

China's iron ore imports for the first seven months ending July 2010 stood at 360 million tonnes, up 1.5% year over year. The country's iron ore imports could reach 650 million tonnes during 2010, according to Wu Wenzhang, an analyst from

The likely surge in iron ore imports is attributed to lower prices and reduced stockpiles. However, China's steel production has declined 8% from May to July this year. Production fell to a five-month low of 51.7 million tonnes in July, down 3.9% month on month but up 2.2% year over year.

Karvy Global Services (, a subsidiary of the Karvy group (, provides specialized research in asset classes including stocks, mutual funds and insurance to leading Wall Street firms.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs