Experts unsure on iron ore rise

While the mining industry has been buoyed by a large spike in the iron ore price, analysts say the 15-month highs are not expected to last.

The benchmark iron ore price currently sits at $US158.50 a tonne, close to double the lows experienced late last year when speculation rose the mining boom had finished.

While demand has surged Commsec chief economist Craig James said prices were expected to moderate over the coming months.

James also said instability in the Chinese economy made it difficult to predict how far prices would fall.

“It is hard to estimate what demand is going to be from China for resources over a long period of time and this is going to be a major source of uncertainty for analysts across the world, not just for iron ore but all sorts of resources,” he told AAP.

James said he expected prices to level around $US120 a tonne, while Patersons Securities has estimated $US128 and Credit Suisse $US125 a tonne for the coming year.

The predictions come as Port Hedland, one of the main export points for Pilbara iron ore, continues to see record breaking ore shipments.

Last week Fortescue Metals Group said it had achieved a record run rate through its Herb Elliott Port facility in December, with levels 23 per cent higher than the previous record set in May last year.

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