The price of iron ore may drop to less than $100 (R1 050) a ton for the first time since 2012 as swelling global supplies push the global seaborne market into surplus and demand growth in China slows.
Iron ore entered a bear market in March. Prices may decline to $95 in the fourth quarter, according to CLSA, a unit of Citic Securities, China’s largest brokerage by market value.
SSY Futures sees a retreat below $100 “very shortly”. Goldman Sachs forecasts a fourth-quarter average of $100.
New supply sent the market into a surplus, according to Piet-Hein Ingen Housz, the global head of metals at ABN Amro Bank, who is among speakers at a conference in Singapore this week.
The global seaborne surplus will climb to 79 million tons this year from 1 million tons last year, Morgan Stanley estimates, while Standard Chartered has forecast a glut of 136 million tons.
Total shipments from Australia, the largest exporter, will rise 19 percent to a record 687 million tons this year, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, Australia’s government forecaster, predicts.
But the potential impact of tighter Chinese financing rules might be overstated and iron ore might rally to as much as $120 by mid-year as seasonal steel demand picked up, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said in a report on Friday. The recent price drop looked overdone, analysts Mark Pervan and Ankit Pahuja wrote.
Prices of less than $105 might spur purchases of overseas ore and a drop significantly below $100 was unlikely, Morgan Stanley said in a report on April 29.
Ore with 62 percent content delivered to Tianjin has lost 21 percent this year to $106 a dry ton, according to data from The Steel Index. Swap rates from May to December all remain above $100, according to SGX AsiaClear, the largest clearer of the derivatives.