HONG KONG, Mar 21, 2012 (Dow Jones) -- Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG.AU) expects iron ore prices to find support at US$140-US$145 per metric ton in the short term, a senior executive said Wednesday, despite slower global economic growth.
US$140-US$145/ton represents "a production-cost floor, and we don't expect to see spot iron ore prices dipping below that level in the near future," Chief Executive Nev Power told a mining conference in Hong Kong.
Power's comments came after Chinese authorities earlier this month flagged a slower pace of economic growth over the next few years, raising concerns over a possible slowdown in iron ore exports to the nation.
Spot iron ore prices fell to around US$115/ton in October because of oversupply of the key steelmaking ingredient, but prices have rebounded to around US$145 million despite a reduction of demand from China's steel sector, he said.
Power said the world's fourth-largest iron ore producer's US$8.4 billion expansion plan to raise its output to 155 million tons a year by mid-2013 is on track.