Australia’s big iron ore miners are set to benefit immensely on surging iron ore prices as Brazil’s Vale mine is hit with pandemic problems with 188 workers tested positive for COVID-19.Iron ore prices for the month of May jumped dramatically from approximately US$80 ($113) per tonne to over US$102 in part due to the forced closure of the Brazilian’s mine.

Vale’s Australian rivals – Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group – are all primed to further benefit from the news as fears of a supply crunch push up the price of the vital steelmaking ingredient.

According to forecasts Australia’s iron ore exports are expected to be worth $81.5 billion for the 2019-20 financial year. Iron ore drove the nation’s exports in March, with a 36 per cent monthly increase and a 47 per cent increase on last year.

Fortescue Metals achieved a record iron shipment to China during the March quarter and BHP have indicated plans to increase their export capacity in Port Headland to 14%.

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This content is extracted from the article ‘Iron ore prices soar as Vale shuts mines down’ by Tara Hamid | Australia Mining | Tuesday 9th June 2020.