Iron ore’s growing appeal: investor participation and market development

Jun 04 14:06 2020 Print This Article

Once in a generation a new graduate joins the elite circle of globally recognized and traded commodities. Julien Hall, head of metals pricing, APAC at S&P Global Platts, and Fiona Boal, head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, look at the interplay between physical and financial iron ore markets.

Now widely viewed as the second most important commodity behind oil, the evolution of iron ore has mirrored the transformation of China. One of the least volatile commodities in 2020, iron ore has outperformed metals and mining equities, which over the last seven years are roughly flat, while the S&P GSCI Iron Ore Index has more than tripled.

The emergence of iron ore has been a rapid one by commodity market standards. Just 10 years ago, the magnetic red dirt was an opaque market with contract negotiations taking place annually in smoke-filled rooms in Japan and later China. The market now has two liquid futures markets on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE).  These financial markets are trading 1.2 times and 20 times physical seaborne market volumes, respectively.

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The Barrel

S&P Global Platts provides market insights so people can make more informed trading and business decisions.. They're the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. Customers in over 150 countries look to their expertise in news, pricing and analytics to deliver greater transparency and efficiency to markets. S&P Global Platts coverage includes oil and gas, power, petrochemicals, metals, agriculture and shipping. S&P Global Platts provides critical information for the commodities & energy markets to make physical commodity markets more transparent and efficient. S&P Global Platts blog, The Barrel, provides the essential perspective on global commodities.

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