As usual, China is driving the iron ore market, where fourth week of November inventories of iron ore at 25 of China’s major ports had increased by 2% over the third week. Inventories stood at 81.1 million metric tons, almost at November, 2012 levels. However, a slowdown in domestic production over the winter months, sluggish consumption in the end-user market and negative net earnings at Chinese mills will most likely temper any price increases.
9.1 million tons of coal was shipped out of Newcastle Port, Australia, as of the end of November. There were approximately 28 coal shipping vessels waiting in the port, meaning that the final tally will be 11.1 million tons of coal during the month of November. This exceeds the annual monthly average by .5 million tons. Continue reading