Iron ore and coal prices downgraded

11.Iron ore and coal prices downgraded

Perth

(Australian Associated Press)

ANZ has downgraded its iron ore and coking coal price forecasts for the next two years because of lower growth predictions for China.

The bank said it had reduced its iron ore and coking coal prices by five to 13 per cent for 2016 and 2017.

A downward revision in Chinese growth forecasts had prompted ANZ to lower its global steel demand outlook and assume that Chinese steel consumption peaked last year from a previous forecast of 2020.

“In iron ore in particular we see little upside in prices for the next few years,” ANZ analysts said.

The bank predicts iron ore prices will be essentially flat for the next two years, at an average of around $55 a tonne, after rising at the end of 2015 and falling in 2016 and 2017.

ANZ analysts said they had pared back China steel consumption forecasts by three to 3.5 per cent over the next four to five years.

Stronger-than-expected Chinese steel exports had also weighed heavily on global steel prices, putting pressure on already weak iron ore and coal prices.

“While we still see steel demand recovering mildly in the later part of the decade, in-line with a less sluggish housing market, we now forecast that peak steel consumption occurred in 2014 from a previous forecast of 2020,” the analysts said.

Price falls for coking coal, which is used in steel production, are likely to accelerate over the next two years.

The bank added that strugglingly Chinese steel mills had no wriggle room to accept higher raw material prices particularly if steel prices fall.

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