The current outlook of Iron Ore prices in Australia
Australia’s iron ore export volumes are forecast to increase by 8 percent and reach 851 million tonnes in 2016-17, that’s according to the Department of Industry’s September 2016 quarterly outlook.
Total earnings from exports are expected to increase to $54 billion, which is $5 billion more than the previous forecast as a result of the persistently high prices in the September quarter.
That being said, the iron ore price is actually forecast to decline later this year, averaging at an expected 6 percent lower in 2014 at around $45 a tonne.
Through July and August this year there was an unexpected rally in the price of iron ore to an average of $54 a tonne. Because of the rally, forecasted iron ore price has been revised up to $49 per tonne for 2016 but the price is still expected to decline, with the 2017 forecast at $47 a tonne for 2017.
The higher iron ore prices have been attributed to a stronger demand from China’s steel sector, which in turn is underpinned a resurgence of the Chinese construction sector.
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Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.
Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.”
Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.
The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic.