Iron ore futures rally as much as 4% in Singapore to more than $90/mt, while spot ore jumps to a two-year high and the contract for high-grade ore extends gains above $100/mt.
The seaborne market has been in turmoil since Vale's (NYSE:VALE) dam disaster in January, causing Brazil's mining regulator to close 56 tailings dams and prompting mine suspensions and shortage concerns, and the iron ore rally has enjoyed an additional boost as a cyclone in Australia disrupted flows from Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) and BHP.
The dislocation was on display in March's export figures from Brazil, where iron ore shipments sank to 22.18M tons, the lowest March total in more than a decade.
In Australia, Rio and BHP have said the cyclone will hurt production; shipments from Australia sank more than 70% in the week to March 29 as the cyclone struck.
Barclays forecasts iron ore averaging $75/mt this year, up from its previous outlook of $69, as the market flips to a 31M-ton deficit.
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