ICE announces introduction of cleared Iron Ore Swap

ICE announces introduction of cleared Iron Ore Swap


IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, today announced the introduction of an ICE OTC cleared iron ore contract based on the well-regarded Platts Iron Ore Index. The ICE Platts Iron Ore Swap 62% Fe (metallic iron) contract will be available for clearing on ICE Clear U.S. beginning December 2, 2009.

Iron ore is the primary raw material used in the production of steel -- and the world's second largest commodity by value, after crude oil. Because iron ore has historically traded under long-term fixed price contracts between steel mills and mining companies, iron ore is the world's largest commodity without a significant derivatives market.

"As a major input to steel production, iron ore is essential to the global economy and is one of the largest commodities today without a fully developed derivatives market," said Mike Davis, Director of Market Development, ICE Futures Europe. "We have designed the contract to meet the requirements of participants in the iron ore and steel industries so that they are able to manage price risks around steel input costs, just as they have long been able to do with other factors of production such as oil and coal."

Iron ore is a mineral with metallic iron (Fe) content. High grade iron ore contains at least 60% Fe content, and the industry has adopted the 62% Fe specification as a standard benchmark for derivative transactions. The ICE Iron Ore Swap is based upon the most commonly traded grade of iron ore, referencing 62% Fe content delivered by sea to China. The contract will be cash settled against a daily index price published in Platts Metals Alert (PMA) under the heading 'IODEX: Iron Ore fines 62% Fe CFR North China'.