The surprise strength of the iron ore price should continue over coming weeks, says Fortescue Metals boss Nev Power.
Speaking after Fortescue published its results for the September quarter, Mr Power said low iron ore inventories in China would not allow the price to fall dramatically in the near future, as some pundits had predicted.
Many observers tipped the iron ore price to fall in August-October period, just as it did in the past two years. UBS has forecast a flash slump to $US70 a tonne before October 31, based on the traditional time of year that Chinese steel makers wind back production.
But so far there has been no slump, with the benchmark price averaging a healthy $US133 a tonne in the September quarter.
Mr Power said he believed price movements were mostly driven by the size of stockpiles in China.
The 25.9 million tonnes exported during the September quarter keeps Fortescue on track to meet its full-year export guidance of between 127 million and 133 million tonnes, but was lower than some analysts had hoped for. Costs were also within the guided range.