Rio Tinto, the world’s biggest producer of iron ore after Brazil’s Vale SA, saw its earnings increase 125 percent to $5.77 billion in the first half of 2010. The company earned just $2.56 billion during the same period in 2009.
The British-Australian mining company was aided by rising iron ore prices, which provided 70 percent of the company’s profits this year. Iron ore currently trades at spot around $120 ton, more than twice last year’s benchmark price.
The company also benefited from rising copper prices – that key industrial metal has seen futures climb over 75 percent in the past year. In fact, commodity prices have been generally beneficial for the company; aluminum is up 50 percent, while gold has climbed 26 percent.
The pricing system for iron ore changed recently. In the past, steelmakers bought iron ore in annual contracts created in complex bilateral negotiations. In 2009, many of them decided to abandon that system and instead buy ore on the spot market, throwing the system into chaos.
Now, the companies are signing quarterly contracts with prices linked to the spot market. But intra-quarter fluctuations in spot iron ore prices stresses the system, and many believe that a new paradigm will emerge before long.
The StoneX Group Inc. group of companies provides financial services worldwide through its subsidiaries, including physical commodities, securities, exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives, risk management, global payments and foreign exchange products in accordance with applicable law in the jurisdictions where services are provided. References to over-the-counter (“OTC”) products or swaps are made on behalf of StoneX Markets LLC (“SXM”), a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”) and provisionally registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) as a swap dealer. SXM’s products are designed only for individuals or firms who qualify under CFTC rules as an ‘Eligible Contract Participant’ (“ECP”) and who have been accepted as customers of SXM. StoneX Financial Inc. (“SFI”) is a member of FINRA/NFA/SIPC and registered with the MSRB. SFI does business as Daniels Trading/Top Third/Futures Online. SFI is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as a Broker-Dealer and with the CFTC as a Futures Commission Merchant and Commodity Trading Adviser. References to securities trading are made on behalf of the BD Division of SFI and are intended only for an audience of institutional clients as defined by FINRA Rule 4512(c). References to exchange-traded futures and options are made on behalf of the FCM Division of SFI.
Trading swaps and over-the-counter derivatives, exchange-traded derivatives and options and securities involves substantial risk and is not suitable for all investors. The information herein is not a recommendation to trade nor investment research or an offer to buy or sell any derivative or security. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs and does not create a binding obligation on any of the StoneX group of companies to enter into any transaction with you. You are advised to perform an independent investigation of any transaction to determine whether any transaction is suitable for you. No part of this material may be copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written consent of StoneX Group Inc.
© 2021 StoneX Group Inc. All Rights Reserved