Iron ore finishes year strong as prices climb

Iron ore and coking coal prices have jumped to a three-month high, resulting in a strong finish to the year for two of Australia’s key export commodities.

Despite ongoing volatility, iron ore prices have averaged at $70.60 over the year compared to $56.50 in 2016.

Natural iron ore reached $74.15 a tonne (62 per cent Fe) overnight, a rise of 3.7 per cent to its highest mark since September — the month China’s iron ore exports hit over 100 million tonnes for the first time — and an increase of 26.7 per cent since October.

For point of comparison, lower-grade 58 per cent fines rose 2.2 per cent to $40.93 a tonne. High-grade 65 per cent fines were up 3 per cent to  $89.10 a tonne.

The rising prices are partially attributed to ramping up of Chinese steel production and a preference for higher grade material in an attempt to cut down pollution, clean up China’s air and increase overall efficiency.

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