End of open consultation on iron ore indices

Fastmarkets invited feedback on the pricing methodology for its iron ore indices via an open consultation launched on March 2. This one-month consultation was done as part of our published annual methodology review process

The consultation was extended by another month from April 6.

The consultation sought to ensure that our methodology continued to reflect the physical iron ore markets that the indices covered, in compliance with the principles of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (Iosco) for price reporting agencies (PRAs). This includes all elements of our pricing process, our price specifications and publication frequencies.

Full details of the prices covered by this consultation can be found here.

The current methodology for Fastmarkets’ iron ore indices can be found here.

Upon the end of the initial consultation on March 31, comments and feedback received had suggested that some material changes might be required to the existing methodology.

Among the suggestions received were for the publication frequency of Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 66% Fe concentrate, cfr Qingdao, $/tonne [MB-IRO-0013] be changed from weekly to daily, and for the launch of standalone concentrate premium indices against 65% Fe iron ore fines on a cfr China basis.

During the extended consultation period, Fastmarkets received supportive feedback regarding the suggestion to increase the publication frequency of Fastmarkets’ index for iron ore 66% Fe concentrate, cfr Qingdao, $/tonne [MB-IRO-0013]. As such, Fastmarkets will study the feasibility of increasing the publication frequency of this index and start internal trial calculations.

A separate market consultation will be launched if the feasibility study and internal trial calculations support increasing the publication frequency of this index.

As for the suggestion of launching standalone concentrate premium indices against 65% Fe iron ore fines on a cfr China basis, Fastmarkets received feedback during the extended consultation period suggesting that two separate standalone premium indices would be required to reflect different grades of iron ore concentrate.

But Fastmarkets also notes market participants’ concerns about the possibility that spot liquidity for iron ore concentrate might not be high enough to support the calculation of two separate standalone indices. As such, Fastmarkets has decided that further studies are required before deciding whether to launch an index or indices of this kind. Any proposal to make material changes, discontinue or launch prices will involve a separate market consultation, the length of which will depend on how substantial the change is.

Beyond this open consultation, Fastmarkets also invites feedback on a continuing basis throughout the year.

Please provide feedback to pricing@fastmarkets.com using the subject heading “FAO: Jane Fan, re: Iron Ore Indices Methodology.”

To see all of Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents, go to https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology.

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