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.
Download the 40yr price history.