Global Iron Ore Mining Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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Tremendous spikes in the price of iron ore prior to and following the recession offset any declines that occurred over the past five years, enabling the industry to grow at a rapid pace; over the next five years, surging demand from emerging countries will keep prices for iron ore at their current highs, spurring mining companies to ramp up production to capitalize on growing revenue and profit opportunities. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Global Iron Ore Mining industry to its growing industry report collection.

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Prices were volatile over the period but ultimately pushed up revenue at a rapid pace

The Global Iron Ore Mining industry's financial performance has been highly volatile over the past five years. The industry weathered through triple-digit revenue spikes and double-digit declines. After two years of extraordinary growth in 2010 and, to a lesser extent, 2011, revenue contracted in 2012 due to plummeting prices of iron ore. However, according to IBISWorld industry analyst Agiimaa Kruchkin, “In 2013, industry performance is expected to recover on the back of rebounding iron ore prices.” Consequently, industry revenue is expected to grow 4.7% to total $264.3 billion over the year. Profit has been similarly unstable, though it has increased overall at an annualized rate of 5.5% to about 43.2% of revenue in 2013.

Despite a volatile performance, tremendous growth over the period has ultimately offset any declines, leading to estimated average annual revenue growth of 14.6% in the five years to 2013. Growth for the Global Iron Ore Mining industry has primarily occurred on the back of higher iron ore output and prices. Strong growth in large emerging nations, such as China and India, has driven the demand for iron ore and underpinned higher prices during most of the five-year period; as a result, industry revenue and profit have expanded rapidly. “The industry’s major players, such as Vale and Rio Tinto, have all benefited from these positive conditions, which have allow these companies to acquire several smaller companies over the period and increase market share,” says Kruchkin. Nonetheless, the industry retains its low-to-moderate market share concentration.

Total iron ore production worldwide is expected to reach about 2.87 billion metric tons in 2013 (compared with 2.10 billion metric tons in 2008). More than half of this total will be traded internationally. Trade occurs primarily between regions rather than within regions, although there is some intraregional trade in Europe and North America. The major importing regions are North Asia and Europe, while the major exporting regions are South America and Oceania. Following the recession, most iron ore supply contracts shifted from annual pricing (which has been the norm since the 1960s) to more flexible quarterly or even monthly pricing.

Industry performance is expected to continue improving over the five years to 2018, with revenue projected to rise strongly. The gain reflects ongoing global economic growth, increased steel output and rising iron ore production and prices. These factors are supported by strong demand for steel from emerging economies (e.g. China), as well as strengthening developed economies. Profit is expected to grow slightly slower than revenue, reflecting rising wages and higher material costs (especially of fuel). For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Global Iron Ore Mining industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry consists of firms that mine iron-bearing ores (primarily hematite, magnetite and taconite). In addition to ore extraction, mining includes the development of mine sites and the processing of ore mined into a concentrate or pellet form. The iron ore and iron ore pellets are then sold as an input to blast furnace steel production.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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