Iron Ore Price Rally Comes To A Halt; Vale Plans To Reduce Output
The iron ore price has had a tough month, hitting a decade low at the start of April and then bouncing back mid-month with its biggest gain in nearly two years. And while the metal's price is still 9.5 percent higher this month, a 1.7-percent drop on Thursday following an initial tumble Wednesday shows that its rally may not last long.
The iron ore price has had a tough month, hitting a decade low at the start of April and then bouncing back mid-month with its biggest gain in nearly two years. Currently 62 percent iron at Qingdao is sitting at US$56.18 per tonne, which is still 9.5 percent higher for the month. However, the fact that the metal's price fell 4.6 percent on Wednesday, then another 1.7 percent on Thursday, shows that its rally may not last long. Big players finally react to price It seems that the volatility in the iron ore space has finally started to weigh on industry giants, with BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) deciding to slow expansion at its Inner Harbour Debottlenecking project last week. While that didn't have a huge effect on the iron ore price, the slowdown will likely help even out the supply-demand balance longer term. Meanwhile, Vale (NYSE:VALE) announced Thursday that it could reduce its forecasted iron ore production by up to 30 million tonnes over the next two years. The company made that move after reporting its worst earning in six years in its Q1 2015 report. The company's Q1 adjusted EBITDA fell a whopping 60.5 percent to US$1.6 billion — that's down from US$2.18 billion for the same period in 2014. "Weak market fundamentals continued to undermine prices, with soft demand from Chinese steel mills and strong seaborne supply," Vale said in a statement. "Demand for iron ore reduced in 1Q15 as global crude steel production decelerated by 1.7 percent versus 1Q14, reaching 400 Mt. The slowdown was mostly driven by lower steel production in China, as a result of a lackluster property market despite solid infrastructure investments. Besides China, Japan, US and South Korea also recorded a small contraction in steel production in 1Q15."