Iron ore price returns to above $US200/tonne

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Iron ore prices reached $US208.67 ($268.72) per tonne on Tuesday after reports flagged a potential easing of production cuts at Chinese steel mills.

The production cuts were in response to the Tangshan government’s crackdown on steel mills, with a heavy pollution alert given to halve China’s emissions.

According to Reuters, the plan to ease production cuts is still under discussion and has not been officially approved.

The price of 62 per cent iron ore fines on Tuesday increased by $US9.84 per tonne from Monday, marking its return to above $US200 per tonne.

In May, iron ore reached a record $US230.56 per tonne just after it first moved past the $US200 per tonne mark.

The Pilbara Ports Authority flagged a 25 per cent increase to tonnage fees at Port Hedland on Tuesday, Western Australia’s largest iron ore port, which serves iron ore giants Fortescue, BHP and Roy Hill.

The fee increase will pull another $195 million from miners over the next four years.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported iron ore achieved a record annual export revenue of $116 billion in 2020, making it the first commodity to break $100 billion in a boom year.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said Australia’s iron ore industry has achieved its success off the back of driving down production costs.

“Australia’s iron ore miners are some of the most efficient in the world, delivering record volumes of high-quality Australian iron ore to major trading partners across the globe,” Pitt said.

“Our major miners have made a concerted effort to bring down production costs over the last 10 years, and those efforts are paying off.”

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