Iron ore is the basic input of steel production.
It is estimated that, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore were produced around the world in 2017. Of this total, approximately two thirds were sold at the seaborne market. Australia, Brazil and South Africa are the largest exporters and together account for more than 85% of the global seaborne volume.
On the demand side, China is the largest importer. After starting the past decade with a share of less than 20%, China now accounts for 70% of the seaborne imports of iron ore. This transformation was driven by strong economic growth, which stimulated investments in infrastructure and construction, boosting local steel production.
With a large steel capacity, Japan, South Korea and Europe are considered mature markets, where lower growth rates are offset by a consistent demand. Altogether, these markets represent 20% of international trade of this raw materials.
CSN Mineração is the world’s sixth largest iron ore exporter, serving customers in Asia, Europe, North America and Brazil.
The global iron ore market (62% Fe) has been showing a growing trend in recent years, surpassing price levels of US$100 per tonne since the beginning of 2020, due to a favorable balance between supply and demand. After the intensification of supply reform by the Chinese steel industry in mid-2016, more restrictive environmental policies caused structural changes in the sector, increasing the preference for the use of iron ore with a higher purity and high iron content showing signs of rationalization of the industry.