Iron ore surges past $US70 a tonne

Iron ore has soared through $US70 a tonne for the first time since April.

In overnight trading iron ore continued a recent rise in value, improving by 2 per cent to finish at $US70.24 a tonne.

It has been a up-and-down year for the bulk commodity, with iron ore still almost 11 per cent below its 2017 high despite the latest gain.

A Paterson Securities note explained: “Yongan Futures claimed that recent low availability of high-grade iron ore in the Chinese physical market had pushed up both spot and futures prices.”

While iron ore has enjoyed upward movement recently, it has been forecast to average below $US50 a tonne next year by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

In the department’s June quarterly report, its iron ore forecast was revised down from $US51 a tonne to $US49 a tonne in 2018, and to $US47 a tonne in 2019.

Australia’s leading iron ore miners – Rio Tinto and BHP – this week outlined their iron ore production expectations in operational reviews.

Rio lowered its 2017 iron ore guidance to 330 million tonnes (Mt), down slightly from a previous forecast of between 330-340Mt.

BHP, which produced around 231Mt in the 2017 financial year, has set its guidance for the 2018 campaign at between 239-243Mt.