Platts Iron Ore Index, or IODEX, is a benchmark assessment of the spot price of physical iron ore. The assessment is based on a standard specification of iron ore fines with 62% iron, 2% alumina and 4.5% silica, among other gangue elements.
Since the breakdown of annually negotiated prices in 2010, the IODEX has been the primary physical market pricing reference for seaborne iron ore fines delivered into China, the biggest importer of the steelmaking ingredient.
The use of the IODEX has also been extended to price iron ore in the forms of lump, pellet and concentrate, via the application of premiums and discounts to account for quality differences from the base specification.
The assessment is published on a CFR Qingdao, North China basis, but also used by steelmakers, traders and mining companies globally to price long-term and spot contracts.
Ores delivered on quality, location and timing dimensions differing from those underlying the IODEX are normalized using differentials, which are updated periodically to remain reflective of current market practice.
The IODEX and accompanying iron ore price indexes have brought increased transparency to an industry which continues to evolve in terms of the pricing methods it employs, most recently manifest in the forms of floating price deals for physical cargoes, hedged using positions in the financial derivatives market.
The Platts Iron Ore (IODEX) price assessments are available in these services.
Platts Iron Ore Index assessments reflect the repeatable, transactable price of iron ore fines normalized to specifications of 62%-Fe, 2% alumina and 4.5% silica, among other gangue elements.
The IODEX assessment is not origin specific, and takes into account ores with iron content approximating 62%. Prior to 2012, the spot market saw Indian material traded most actively, and this has shifted, with Australia being the main source of spot material.
Iron ore is a commodity with widely varying quality specifications. The transactional, bid and offer data obtained by Platts are normalized for quality (chemical, physical and metallurgical), delivery timing, location and other terms of trade to the specifications underlying the IODEX and associated indexes.
Platts iron ore assessments reflect spot market value as of 5.30 pm in Singapore (0930 GMT).
We publish bids, offers, expressions of interest to trade, and confirmed trades during our Market on Close assessment process every day. The information is summarized in our daily newsletters and is published in full on our real-time information service, Platts Metals Alert.
We started assessing the spot price of seaborne iron ore since June 2, 2008, the first publisher to do so on a daily basis.
Starting with the 62%-Fe IODEX, subsequent associated indexes were launched to reflect ores of different quality groupings and forms, including lump.
The IODEX was adopted as the most-used spot price index in 2010, when the annually negotiated pricing mechanism between major mining companies and steelmakers broke down.
Initially used as the basis of long-term contractual pricing, it is now also the basis of floating-price spot deals, and of financial derivatives like swaps, including uncleared swaps done between financial institutions and their clients.
Platts thought leadership has brought about unprecedented transparency in the iron ore market, achieved through active market-testing of data obtained and the publication of a daily spot market commentary with a large following.
The Iron Ore Price Assessments are available in the following Platts services:
How the Steel Market Works Training and Hedging Workshop: Chicago
How the Steel Market Works Training and Hedging Workshop: Düsseldorf
Steel Markets Asia, 12th Annual
Platts Assessment Methodology Training
Training & Events – Metals