Iron ore surged 81% in 2016 -- its first calendar year gain in 4 years

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

2016 was a very good year for iron ore markets, even forgiving another volatile drop on the final trading day of the year.

According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines dropped 1.94% to $78.87 a tonne, trimming its 2016 gain to 81%.

The gain, the first during a calendar year since 2012, was a result of production cuts, increased infrastructure investment and strength in Chinese property prices, acting in tandem to drive prices higher over the course of the year.

Increased levels of speculative activity in Chinese commodity futures was also a factor that kept prices elevated, particularly in the second half of the year.

Chinese commodity futures will resume trade at Midday AEDT, and will likely provide the impetus as to what way spot markets will travel in the first trading session of 2017.

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