As China's macro economy slowly improves, iron ore prices will increase, starting in the fourth quarter, said Luo Yongjun, vice-general manager of Sinosteel Mining Co Ltd, speaking on Sunday during the 2012 China Mining Expo in Beijing.
"China is the world's largest iron ore consumer," said Luo. "So long as China's economy keeps growing, the demand for iron ore will keep stable, which will lead its prices to rise again."
However, he said the factors that influence iron ore prices are multiple. The global economy and supply-demand situation both affect its trend. Moreover, some iron ore companies recently announced they will expand their production capacity, which will add difficulties to the task of predicting prices.
"Global steel output will increase in the coming years, reaching 1.6 billion metric tons a year," he said. "Steel prices will gradually become stable over the long term but will continue to fluctuate in the short term."
China imported 686 million tons of iron ore in 2011, up 10.9 percent year-on-year. The top three iron ore suppliers for China are Australia, Brazil and India.