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Iron ore prices plunge 30% in a month

Weak Chinese steel demand, growing oversupply take toll

A Vale mine in Brazil, where production of iron ore is growing.   © Vale

TOKYO -- Iron ore prices are collapsing on the growing outlook that China may reduce imports as steel prices there fall, coupled with the fear that new production at Brazilian mines could result in an oversupply.

The spot price of Australian iron ore, a key market indicator, has been softening since approaching $100 a ton in February, and the downturn has gained momentum since the start of this month. Prices have fallen 30% since late March and hit a six-month low at around $61 on Tuesday.

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