Iron Ore isn't traded like most commodities. Please read the FAQs below.
Market Index tracks the industry standard NYMEX traded 62% Fe, CFR China in $US/metric tonne.
Iron Ore (Fe) is mined in around 50 countries worldwide and used to make steel (buildings, cars, white goods etc.).
Global economic growth is the primary factor that drives its supply and demand. When economies are growing, the need for steel in construction increases which drives the price up.
Growth in China (the world's largest consumer of metals) has affected the price of iron ore so much recently that the spot price can almost be considered a proxy for China's economic health.
At Market Close · 03/12
Australia is the world's largest iron ore exporter (and 2nd largest producer) accounting for around a third of global production.
Western Australia holds just over 90% of Australia's identified iron ore resources and has a reputation for producing consistently high concentrations of around 60%. Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) account for ~90% of Australia's iron ore production (2014).
The iron ore spot price became a mature benchmark in 2008 when Platts started publishing daily assessments. The Steel Index and Metal Bulletin followed suit shortly afterwards. The industry standard specification is 62% Fe (CFR China).
Download a spreadsheet of 62% FE spot (CFR Tianjin port) since 1980.
A large 2MB image of Australia's iron ore deposits.
A list of Australia's major minerals with statistics and maps outlining all known deposits and operating mines.