To be or not to be -- that is the pressing question for Chinese iron ore crusher price teetering on thin profit margins that have been squeezed by lower-priced imported ores and sluggish steel demand at home.
Chinese ore miners, who are believed to produce at a cost of $80 to $120 per ton, can handle smaller price cuts than foreign competitors whose production costs are estimated at $40 to $50 per ton.
Therefore, the more price-sensitive domestic iron ore crusher price are losing favor with Chinas steelmakers, who are struggling with contracted steel demand in the worlds second-largest economy.
Imported iron ores with more flexible prices and higher quality appeal more to the countrys steelmakers. Iron ores from the Three Mines, namely BHP Billiton, Companhia Vale Do Rio Doce and Rio Tinto, constitute the bulk of Chinas ore imports.
Ore prices have wobbled freely on the basis of supply and demand since being unpegged from a yearly agreement struck between providers and consumers to set a basis price for iron ores for the whole year.
The volatility of iron ore crusher price have put Chinese iron ore miners in an unsafe situation in which a group of domestic miners who produce at around $120 per ton will be kicked out of the market if the ore price dips below such that level.
To make matters worse, the oversupply and waning demand of steel products in China has dragged down steel prices, affecting domestic iron ore crusher price.