How Fortescue became a victim of its own success

Over the past six years, Fortescue dramatically reduced its debts and transformed into a major seaborne player, but two developments have put it under considerable pressure.

As the higher-cost of the major seaborne producers, Fortescue Metals would have expected to come under increasing scrutiny and stress as the iron ore price keeps falling. As the consensus builds that the market for iron ore has gone from 'stronger for longer' to 'lower for longer', it will come under rising pressure to respond.

Fortescue shares fell more than four per cent today, to just over $2, after the iron ore spot price sank to another five-year low of $US63.54 a tonne overnight. Less than 12 months ago, Fortescue shares were trading at just under $6.

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