The world’s largest iron ore miner, Vale, has moved to increase the iron ore benchmark price by more than 90% in negotiations with Japanese steel companies.
The world’s iron ore producers have traded the material at spot prices over the last year after benchmark negotiations with Chinese steelmakers broke down.
The spot price is currently sitting at US$130 per tonne, thanks to increased demand from China.
Vale sold its iron ore at US$55 per tonne during the 2009 financial year and is proposing a benchmark price for the April to June quarter.
According to reports, the Japanese steelmakers are against prices over US$100, but are likely to agree to a benchmark above the US$79 per tonne set in the 2008 financial year.
Japan imported 128.5 million tonnes of iron ore in the 2008 financial year. Vale accounts for around 30% of global iron ore exports.