Pressure builds on junior iron ore miners

Iron ore has plunged below the $US50 per tonne mark as a supply glut and lingering concerns over the health of China's economy threatens to visit more pain on junior miners and the Australian budget. The price of iron ore for immediate delivery at the port of Qingdao slumped $US1.82 to $US49.54 a tonne on Wednesday, taking the beleaguered commodity to a fresh 10-year low. The plunge came as Westpac forecast that iron ore could fall as low as $US47, a prediction supported by precipitous daily declines in the steel making ingredient's price this week. "It is very unlikely that 2015 will bring much joy for spot iron ore prices. For the near term Australia and Brazil will continue to expand production, even at current prices, maintaining downwards pressure," Westpac economist Justin Smirk said on Wednesday before the latest sharp fall in the commodity's price. "As noted, BHP and Rio Tinto can deliver into the Chinese market for around $US40 per tonne and have an objective to drive costs even lower." (VIEW LINK)

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