LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 2 (Reuters) – The contrasting fortunes of the prices of industrial metals inside and outside of China serves to illustrate two trends as the Asian region starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns.
The first is that the recovery is uneven and likely to remain so, and the second is that the more exposed to China the commodity is, the greater the likelihood it outperforms those metals that are not.
The best example is iron ore, the steel-making ingredient of which China accounts for two-thirds of the global seaborne trade.
The spot price for benchmark 62% iron ore delivered to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended at $99.95 a tonne on Monday, just down from $100.75 on May 29, the highest since August last year.
Iron ore is up 10.5% since the end of last year, making it a stand-out commodity amid the wreckage of the novel coronavirus, which has smashed demand for energy and other commodities as much of the world economy was placed in some form of lockdown as the pandemic spread.