[Ferro-Alloys.com] Iron ore prices are expected to remain relatively strong in the October-December quarter despite demand falling on the back of reduced crude steel production, according to the latest S&P Global Platts quarterly Iron Ore & Steel Outlook released Sept. 16.
The Outlook found that 54% of respondents expected iron ore prices to range between $100/mt and $110/mt CFR China in calendar Q4. Just over one-third believed iron ore prices would stay above $110/mt and 11% thought they would fall below $100/mt.
Only 18% of respondents expected their iron ore requirements to increase in Q4, with 39% tipping them to fall and 43% believing their demand would be similar to Q3.
Some respondents commented that the extent of China's winter steel production cuts created uncertainty around demand levels.
China's crude steel production hit a record high in August, but 54% of respondents expected output to fall in Q4, while 32% thought it would stay at a similar level to the July-September quarter, according to the Outlook.
In potentially positive news for steel prices, 54% of respondents expected steel inventories to come down in Q4, with just 14% believing they would increase.
Weaker domestic steel prices could see China become competitive in exports again, but only 29% thought exports would rise in Q4, while 22% thought they would fall.
Source: S&P Global Platts
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