(Bloomberg) Iron ore futures surged above $100 a ton after Brazil’s Vale SA was ordered to suspend operations that account for about a 10th of its output after workers contracted Covid-19, boosting concerns surging cases will disrupt other mines in the top shipper after Australia.
The ruction is the latest supply shock to hit the global market over the past 18 months, following a dam burst at a Vale mine in 2019 that roiled prices as well as weather-related disruptions this year.
Iron ore could hold above $100 for the next two months, Morgan Stanley said, although it cautioned that a surplus and lower prices were still expected in the final quarter. Higher prices will benefit Australian majors BHP Group, Rio Tinto Group and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.
“This is the birth of yet another supply issue in Brazil” and prices will remain elevated in the short term, according to CITIC Futures Co. analyst Zeng Ning. At the same time, demand in China is strong, with good steel-mill profitability, rising utilization rates and low port stockpiles, he said.
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