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December 28, 2010

A New Trading Mode “Bidding” in Iron Ore Market

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A new trading mode, named “Bidding”, is brought into iron ore market in recent years. Initially, Indian miners invite the public bidding for their iron ore which is still on the sea. The offer is calculated on the basis of spot price and ocean freight. Then the buyers give their offers. Finally, the participant, who gives the highest offer, is the winner.

And then Australian miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton join the wave in the wake of the disappearance of decade-existed annual pricing system. They even classify their clients. And only those with high reputation can be the bidders.

The new mode became more and more popular in the latter half of 2010. Even Brazilian miners were attracted. It is reported that the winners in the bidding are mainly big-scaled traders, instead of iron ore users steel mills. The phenomenon is contained big risk, from the viewpoint of steel mills or insiders, citing that winners will resell the iron ore to end users with a higher deal; the move will finally push up spot market.

For example, the miner will tag its product at US$ 192 per tonne, versus the current spot market of US$ 190 per tonne. One buyer, who anticipates a boomy market in the future, may finalize the vessel of iron ore at the deal of US$ 192 per tonne. And then, he may successfully make a fortune of 2 dollars a tonne by selling the vessel to other steel mills. Spot market, as a result, is boosted by the overseas miners.

The speculative behavior may develop stronger and stronger, and should draw great attention from Chinese steel team, government as well to work out the countermeasures to fight against this a vicious circle.