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Iron ore prices on a cfr China basis will fluctuate at about $110-130 per tonne for the period of 2014-2016, its ceo Pan Guocheng told delegates at Metal Bulletin’s China Iron Ore conference on Tuesday February 25 in Beijing.

"The possibility of prices falling below $110 per tonne for a short term within the next three years still exists, particularly in late 2014," he said.

The iron ore market had been a seller's market up until 2012. It will become a buyer’s market in 2014, Pan said.

Based on data from JP Morgan and Hanking Group, 95 million tonnes, 61 million tonnes and 60 million tonnes of announced new supply are set to come on stream in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The next three years will also see 67 million tonnes, 64 million tonnes and 61 million tonnes of new demand respectively, mainly from China.

"Challenges [remain] for miners in 2014; iron ore prices are highly uncertain [this year]," Pan said.