Iron Ore & Steel Outlook
Expert iron ore and steel market insights
Our quarterly iron ore and steel outlook is published in our Quarterly Metals Report, which covers base, precious and ferrous metals. The impact of supply and demand fundamentals and macroeconomic implications for the iron ore and steel futures and spot prices are analysed. Our research team produce iron ore and steel price range forecasts as part of the report.
Iron Ore & Steel Outlook – Q4 2023
Iron ore prices remained elevated in Q3 2023 despite a struggling Chinese economy. Steel mills are expected to ramp up production during the peak construction season, but low consumer confidence is hampering property investment. Uncertainty around mandatory curbs will weigh on the outlook. Demand in China will continue to be the primary driver for iron prices. We expect prices to average $100/mt in Q4 2023, with downside risks due to potential China steel output cuts and an uncertain property sector outlook.
The global economy performed better than expected so far in 2023, but concerns about a cold winter, rising oil prices, high borrowing costs, and China's economic slowdown are looming large. Central banks are maintaining the narrative of higher-for-longer interest rates due to persistent higher prices, which has weighed on base and precious metals' performance. Despite pledges from Beijing to support the economy, current measures are not expected to have an immediate impact on the real estate sector, which means that there is unlikely to be a large-scale property development that would increase demand for stainless steel prices in the last quarter of the year. Nonetheless, the cumulative impacts of policy support and a dovish monetary policy in China should create a solid foundation for the economy to recover in 2024. Such a transition should push the sentiment from the oversold into neutral. News out of China and the US should bring stronger bounds of volatility in base metals’ performance in Q4 2023.
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